After 117 years, the U.S. returned the three original church bells taken by American soldiers as war booty during the Philippine-American war in 1901.
A U.S. Air Force plane bearing the three historic bells landed in the Philippines on Tuesday.
The U.S. officials led by U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim, handed the bells to Philippine Defence Secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, at a Philippine air force base in Manila.
“It is a most memorable day of our nation’s history and we celebrate it with deep gratitude and respect for all those, who helped to make this day happen,” Lorenzana said during the handover ceremony.
He expressed hope that the return of the church bells would bring closure to the painful conflict 117 years ago.
“The bells of Balangiga will once again peal.
“They will still remind the people of Balangiga of what happened in the town square more than a century ago, but they would also look at that history with more understanding and acceptance.
“These peals will be of joy, revelry and remembrance of shared histories and ideals of new beginnings,” he said.
Local Filipinos from Balangiga, a seaside town in Eastern Samar province in the central Philippines, used the Church bells to signal an attack against American soldiers at the dawn of Sept. 28, 1901.
Two of the bells have been on display at the Warren Air Force base in Cheyenne, Wyoming and another at a U.S. military facility in South Korea.
A number of Philippine presidents and defence secretaries have demanded the return of Balangiga bells.
During his second State of the Nation Address in 2017, Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, specifically demanded the return of the bells.
“Give us back those Balangiga bells. They are ours. They belong to the Philippines. They are part of our national heritage. Please return them. This is painful for us,” Duterte said then.
Duterte, who was initially scheduled to witness the handover ceremony on Tuesday, did not attend.
After the handover ceremony held in Manila, the three bells will be flown by a Philippine Air Force plane to Eastern Samar for their return to Balangiga town church officials on Saturday.
Military Steps Up Onslaught On Terrorists
Woman Locks Stepson In A Cage For 7 Years
Imo, Akwa Ibom, Rivers Top Nigeria’s Unemployment Index
PMB Tasked On Security Measures To Eradicate Banditry, Insurgency
Kebbi Govt To Distribute CACOVID Palliatives In 21 LGC’s
Lagos-Ibadan Passenger Trains Begin Operation Sept – NRC
Military Refute Soldiers Fishing In Baga Allegation
NEWS23 hours ago
JUST IN: Gunmen Kill Bauchi Assembly Member
COVER STORIES22 hours ago
NJC Okays Appointment Of 5 S’Court Justices, 17 Others
NEWS12 hours ago
El-Rufai Addresses Special Forces Deployed To Southern Kaduna In Kafanchan
NEWS18 hours ago
Ebonyi Natives Write Buratai, Hail COAS Over Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Others
COVER STORIES22 hours ago
Foreign Powers Refusing To Supply Nigeria Weapons – FG
NEWS20 hours ago
CUPP Urges Nigerian Youths To Participate In Politics
ENTERTAINMENT22 hours ago
Netflix Gives Ikorodu Bois Movie Making Equipment
FEATURES23 hours ago
Exclusively WOMAN: Addressing Mental Health Issues Will Save Millions From Suicide – Hauwa