US returns church bells to Philippines after more than 100 years
After more than a century, the United States government has returned three church bells swiped by American forces as war booty from the central Philippine town of Balangiga.
Ucanews.com reported that, after years of repeated demands for their return, the bells were brought home aboard a US military plane on 11th December. The United States will formally turn over the bells to President Rodrigo Duterte in Balangiga on 14th December.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said the return of the bells “reflects the strong bonds and mutual respect” between the United States and the Philippines.
“It demonstrates our determination to honour the past and the sacrifices made together by Filipinos and Americans,” Kim said during a ceremony in Manila on 11th December.
He said the return of the bells “heralds our bright future as friends, partners and allies,” adding that the two countries’ shared history is “enduring and deeply personal.”
Picture: Philippine soldiers use a crane to lift three Balangiga Bells off crates during a turnover ceremony on 11th December at Villamor Air Base near Manila. After more than a century, the United States government has returned the three church bells swiped by American forces as war booty from the central Philippine town of Balangiga in 1901. (CNS photo/Rolex Dela Pena, EPA).