Samar solon urges gov’t to take back Balangiga bells
An Eastern Samar representative has urged government to take steps to get back the three Balangiga bells, echoing the call of President Rodrigo Duterte in the latter’s second State of the Nation Address (Sona).
Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone filed House Resolution 1142 urging the Department of Foreign Affairs to “persevere in its diplomatic efforts to recover the three bells of Balangiga from the government of the United State of America.”
The Eastern Samar representative also expressed his appreciation for the President’s call in Monday’s Sona for the US to return the bells, which were taken as spoils of war from Balangiga, Eastern Samar during the Philippine-American war in the 1900s.
“The people of Eastern Samar greatly appreciates His Excellency President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for taking up the cudgels for the return of the three bells of Balangiga,” Evardone said in the resolution.
Duterte called on the US to return the bells, which he said served as a reminder of our ancestors’ bravery against colonizers.
“Many historians describe the Philippine-American war. That is why I say today: Give us back those Balangiga bells. They are ours. They belong to the Philippines. They are part of our national heritage. Isauli naman ninyo. Masakit ‘yun sa amin,” Duterte said in his Sona.
Evardone reiterated in his resolution the importance of the bells to the people of Eastern Samar, who are the “rightful” owners of the Balangiga bells.
“The people of Eastern Samar, to whom the Balangiga bells rightfully belongs, believe that these bells symbolize the heroism and commitment to freedom of our forefathers and ancestors who fiercely fought the abuses by the US forces at the time,” Evardone said.
Everdone’s resolution further read that once the bells, the “last vestiges of the Philippine-American War,” are returned, the relations between the country and the United States would be strengthened.
In 1901, Filipino men in Balangiga, dressed as women, sneaked in an American camp and killed US soldiers during the Philippine-American war. US forces retaliated by ordering killed Filipino male over ten years old. with Airei Kim Guanga, Inquirer.net intern
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