Samar bells return

December 11, 2018
Balangiga Bells
military personnel unload one of the three Balangiga church bells shortly after it arrived from the US at Villamor Airbase yesterday. Church bells seized from the Philippines by the US as war trophies over a century ago were returned in a bid to turn the page on a difficult chapter between the historical allies. AFP/Ted Aljibe

EASTERN Samar Rep. Ben Evardone joined all Filipinos especially the people from Samar in welcoming the return of the historic Balangiga Bells.

In a statement, Evardone said the return will erase the remaining irritant from the Philippine-American war.

He said the bells symbolize the Filipinos’ quest for peace, justice and freedom.

“The return of the bells will further enhance the mutual relationship and cooperation between the Philippines and the US for peace and development,” Evardone said.

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said that along with the return of the Balangiga bells, the “US should also issue an official and public apology for the atrocities they committed in Samar during the Philippine-American War.”

While he welcomed the return, Zarate said compensation is due the descendants of the victims of the Samar raid by American soldiers.

“The US should also return other war booties they took from other areas in our country and pay reparations for the damages they have done on our people,” Zarate said.