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WATCH: US announces return of Balangiga bells to PH

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 08:36 AM November 15, 2018
WAR TROPHIES Two of the three Bells of Balangiga, considered war trophies by the United States, are displayed at FE Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. The third bell is with the US Air Force in South Korea. —AP

Two of the three Bells of Balangiga, considered war trophies by the United States, are displayed at FE Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. The third bell is with the US Air Force in South Korea. AP FILE

The United States (US) government officially announced on Thursday the turnover of the historic Balangiga bells to the Philippines, an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In videos posted on Twitter by DFA Acting Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato, US Defense Secretary James Mattis and Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez can be seen at a turnover ceremony at Warren Airforce Base in Wyoming.

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“Closure finally. The Bells of #Balangiga will soon be home,” Cato wrote.

“In returning the Bells of #Balangiga to our ally and our friend the #Philippines, we pick up our generation’s responsibility to deepen the respect between our people,” Cato also posted, quoting Mattis at the turnover ceremony. /cbb

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In a statement released Wednesday, the DFA said it was “grateful for the efforts” of the US Government, particularly Mattis US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who worked over the years “to bring the bells back home.”

“Today is a time of solemn remembrance as we pay tribute to all those who gave up their lives during the Filipino-American War,” the DFA said.

“We also honor the shared sacrifice of Filipinos and Americans who fought shoulder to shoulder during the Second World War,” it added.

READ: Balangiga bells in PH by December

The Philippine government, Senate and the Catholic Church have been asking the US government to return the Balangiga bells since the Ramos administration in 1990’s.

READ: What went before: Returning the Balangiga bells

“After 117 years, the bells of Balangiga will be coming home,” the DFA said.

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