After 117 years, US returns Balangiga bells to Philippines

Manila: The United States on Tuesday returned the trophy bells taken from the Philippines during the 1901 war after 117 long years.

Balangiga bells were ferried to the capital city of Manila and were received by Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana at a military base, reported The New York Times.

“It has been a very long road home. Many Filipinos and Americans worked tirelessly for decades to make today possible,” said Kim, the United States ambassador to the Philippines.

In July 2017, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had firmly asked the US government to return the bells, stating that they reminded Filipinos of how their forefathers resisted American colonisers.
“They are ours. They belong to the Philippines. They are part of our national heritage,” he had asserted.

According to Al Jazeera, Duterte will lead their reinstallation in Balangiga in a ceremony later in the week in an effort to reaffirm the two countries’ ties.