Legarda: Return of Balangiga Bells Sign of Goodwill and Solidarity Between PH, US

December 12, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, today welcomed the return of the Balangiga Bells to the Philippines and said that it is a sign of goodwill and solidarity between the country and the United States.

On Tuesday, the Balangiga Bells, the three church bells that were taken by the US army in 1901 as war trophies from Balangiga town in Eastern Samar, were airlifted to the Philippine Air Force headquarters in Villamor Airbase.

“The return of the Balangiga Bells to the Philippines signifies the US government’s respect to our country and its commitment to our longtime partnership,” said Legarda.

In 2007, Legarda joined calls for the return of the Balangiga Bells during the commemoration of the Balangiga incident and even filed a Senate Resolution urging the Philippine government to exhaust all efforts to persuade the US government to immediately return the bells of Balangiga to the people of Samar.

“Our collective efforts have finally bore fruit as the bells have arrived in our country and will soon be back in Balangiga where it rightfully belongs. While the church bells were taken in an atmosphere of divisiveness, perhaps hatred and revenge, what is essential is that we, the Filipino people, now strive for peace and reconciliation,” Legarda concluded.