The three Balangiga bells are now in the Philippines 117 years after these were taken from the town of Balangiga, Eastern Samar and brought to the United States by American soldiers during the Philippine-American War in 1901.
The United States Department of Defense (DOD) handed over the bells to the Department of National Defense (DND) in a ceremony held at the Philippine Air Force Grandstand in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City.
Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana received the bells on behalf of the DND from US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Yong Kim.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo, President Rodrigo Duterte will be present during the handover of the Balangiga bells on December 15 in Eastern Samar. “This marks an important milestone in and gives new meaning to the shared history between the Philippines and the United States,” he said.
“Stakeholders from both the Philippines and the United States worked tirelessly for the return of the Balangiga bells,” Panelo said. “They will be remembered as true friends of the Philippines and of Filipino heritage.”