Duterte tells US: Give back Balangiga bells

Postado Julho 25, 2017

"Give us back those".

"We are aware that the Bells of Balangiga have deep significance for a number of people, both in the United States and in the Philippines", it added. They are ours. Return them to us.

Filipino leader Rodrigo Duterte on Monday demanded the US government return church bells that American soldiers took from Samar island more than a hundred years ago.

During the Philippine-American war in 1901, Filipino freedom fighters from the village of Balangiga defended Samar island from American colonizers, resulting in death of 48 American officers and men and 28 Filipinos.

The bells are at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Duterte on Monday repeated a Filipino account of the campaign that the commanding general, Jacob Smith, ordered Samar be turned into a "howling wilderness" and that all Filipino males aged 10 or above be killed. "They are part of our national heritage", Duterte said Monday.

The then Philippine president Fidel Ramos first sought but failed to recover the bells during a 1998 Washington trip. In 2016, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point returned a bell also taken in 1901 to the Saints Peter and Paul Church in Bauang, La Union.

"Bells were routinely taken as souvenirs, but at times they were removed for a military objective - to prevent them from being melted down to make weapons", Stars and Stripes said.

In the 15th and 16th Congresses, Evardone said the lower chamber passed resolutions calling for the return of the bells of Balangiga, "in Eastern Samar as war booty during the Philippine-American War".

Duterte has repeatedly lashed out at the US as ties have frayed, and last Friday vowed he would never visit the "lousy" country despite an earlier invitation extended by US President Donald Trump.