Zubiri calls Borongan priests ‘arrogant’ over Balangiga bells remark
MANILA, Philippines — “Kung ayaw nyo, e di huwag.”
(If you don’t want it, then don’t.)
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri repeatedly said this on Thursday, even calling the Catholic Church, particularly the Diocese of Borongan, “arrogant” for branding as “disrespectful mangling of history” his proposal to place one of the three Balangiga bells at the National Museum.
Zubiri has filed a resolution, urging the government to share one of the bells that were returned recently by the United States by placing it at the national museum for the “appreciation and education” of the general public.
But the Catholic Church in Borongan, Samar objected to the proposal and issued a seemingly tough comment.
“Any effort aimed at such a transfer is a disrespectful mangling of history and the right of the Catholic faithful of Balangiga to their private property,” it said in a statement.
However, Zubiri, in an interview at the Senate, explained that he was just appealing to the Catholic Church to temporarily lend one of the bells to the museum.
“The ownership of the bells is by the Catholic Church so we’re making an appeal to them to share with the Filipino people one of the Balangiga bells by placing it in the National Museum for the appreciation and education of the general public,” he said.
“Sana naman mapahiram nila ang isa man lang nang mailagay po natin sa national museum,” he said.
“Hindi naman donate but pahiram lang naman for a short term para mabisita naman ito ng mga kabataan,” the senator added.
Told about the Catholic’s statement that the transfer would be a “disrespectful mangling of history,” Zubiri said: “Well, if they don’t agree then so be it.”
“But how arrogant naman are they to think…how are arrogant are they to say that it is disrespecting the history of our country.”
“To borrow lang naman, hindi naman ibibigay, temporary lang naman yan. They should not be too arrogant,” he added.
It would be nice, he said, if the Catholic Church could share the history of the bells to many Filipinos.
“But if they don’t want, then so be it. Wala namang problema sa akin yan. Kung ayaw nyo, di huwag…” Zubiri said.
The senator lamented that the bells are now in the Air Force museum and yet he didn’t hear any complaint from the Catholic. /jpv
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