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US Defense Secretary Mattis to lead ceremony for return of Balangiga Bells

12:40 PM November 14, 2018
mattis lorenzana defense

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana meets US Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon to discuss PH-U.S. defense partnership. File photo by U.S. Department of Defense

The United States on Wednesday said it will start the process of handing back the Balangiga Bells to the Philippines.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis will lead a ceremony in Wyoming to start the handover of the Balangiga Bells, the Pentagon said in a statement.

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Mattis will make a one-day trip to Texas and Wyoming on Wednesday (US time). He is scheduled to meet military forces currently deployed in support of the southwest border mission in his Texas stop.

“At F.E. Warren Air Force Base, WY, the secretary will attend a ceremony marking the beginning of the process to return of the Bells of Balangiga to the Philippines,” the Pentagon said.

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Two of the bells are at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The third is with the US Army in South Korea.

US forces took away the Balangiga Bells in Samar province in 1901 as war trophies. They have been subjects of a campaign for repatriation for more than 20 years. /je

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