Philippines to conduct study to address Balangiga bells issue

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (Leslie D. Venzon)

CEBU - Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the government will conduct a study to address the Balangiga bells issue with a goal to return the artifacts to the country.

“Anything that the President says is a priority...i already asked for a study. Some congressmen are volunteering,” he told reporters in Manila.

Cayetano was optimistic that the United States would “work with us towards recovering these and be a good gesture and symbol.”

The US vowed to work with the Philippines to resolve the issue on Balangiga bells, as it recognized their significance for a number of people in the US and in the Philippines.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in his second State-of-the-nation Address, demanded from the US to return the 3 bells taken by American soldiers in the town of Balangiga in Eastern Samar as war booty more than a century ago.

During the Philippine-american war in 1901, Filipino freedom fighters from Balangiga defended Samar island from American colonizers, resulting in death of 48 members of the US 9th Infantry and in retaliation, the US soldiers massacred all Filipinos over 10 years old.

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