PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte called on the United States to return the bells taken by its soldiers from a church in Balangiga, Eastern Samar in 1901 during the Philippine-American War.
“Give us back those Balangiga bells. They are ours. They belong to the Philippines. They are part of our national heritage. Isauli naman ninyo (Bring them back). Masakit iyon sa amin (It is painful to us),” the President said in his State of the Nation Address on Monday.
Gen. Jacob Smith ordered soldiers to turn Samar into a “howling wilderness,” after Filipinos killed 48 American soldiers during breakfast on September 28, 1901. Three bells were taken from the town church after it was burned.