“Due to the persistent requests from the people of Eastern Samar who look forward to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s personally bringing the Balangiga bells to the town of Balangiga, the President has decided to attend the turnover ceremony of the Balangiga bells to the local officials on Saturday, December 15,” Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador S. Panelo said in a statement.
Duterte was scheduled to attend the arrival ceremony of Balangiga bells on December 11 at Villamor Air Base but it did not push through. The event on December 15 will be the turnover at the San Lorenzo de Martir Church in Balangiga, Eastern Samar.
Panelo said the President has made changes in his schedule of activities to join the Filipino community in welcoming the return of the bells.
“While the President considers his physical presence at the ceremonial turnover an added attraction to the event, he gives more importance to the fact that after 117 years, the Balangiga bells, which symbolize the bravery and patriotism of the Filipinos who refused to be subjugated by a foreign power and shed blood to assert the sovereignty of our country, have been returned to their origins where they properly belong,” he explained.
“As the Balangiga bells resume their ringing after a silence of more than a century, the booming sounds that will come out of them will resonate around the world with the sterling message that foreign domination nor outside intrusion on its sovereignty has no place in this part of the world,” he added.