With bells PH-bound, Duterte can now visit America – DFA
SINGAPORE—The return of the Balangiga bells has cleared the way for President Duterte’s visit to the United States, according to Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.
“Well, they’re coming back so he will have to go there, to the United States, I would think, if that’s the condition he (Mr. Duterte) made,” Locsin said at a press briefing on Thursday in Singapore where he accompanied the President to the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit.
Locsin recalled a conversation he had with US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley who asked when Mr. Duterte would visit the United States.
Locsin told Haley the President wouldn’t visit the United States unless the Balangiga bells were returned to the Philippines.
US Defense Secretary James Mattis turned over the three bells to Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez in a ceremony on Wednesday at F.E. Warrren Air Force Base in Wyoming where two of them were on display.
US officials say the bells are expected to be in the Philippines by mid-December.
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