Return of Balangiga Bells to the Philippines long overdue — militant leaders
Militant leaders on Sunday said the return of the Balangiga Bells to the Philippines is long overdue, and the United States should “walk the talk.”
The statement was issued following the announcement of the US Embassy in Manila that the historic bells would soon be returned to the country
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary-General Renato Reyes said the bells represent the “brutal colonization” in the Philippines.
“The return of the Balangiga Bells is long overdue. The bells remind us of the brutal colonization of the Philippines by US imperialism, of the war crimes of Gen. Jacob H. Smith in Samar and other atrocities,” Reyes said in a statement.
Reyes said, however, that he welcomes the initiative of the US government to return the historic bells.
He then urged the public “to continue remembering our colonial history” for a better “understanding [of ] the current crisis and situation of the Philippines.”
The date of the return of the bells has yet to be finalized.
With this, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate called on the US to immediately return the bells and apologize to the Filipino nation.
“Walk the talk and return the Balangiga Bells now and other war booties [you] took from our country […] apologize for the atrocities [you] committed,” Zarate said in a statement.
“Matagal na nilang sinasabi na isosoli na daw nila ang Balangiga bells pero hanggang ngayon ay wala pa din. Wag silang paasa at ibalik na nila ngayon ang mga makasaysayang kampana ng Balangiga (They have been talking about the return of the bells for some time, but until now it hasn’t happened),” he added.
Zarate urged his colleagues at the House of Representatives to fast-track House Resolution 1142, which calls on the US to bring back the bells and other war booties and “assert independence and sovereignty from foreign intervention.” /ee