Samar lawmaker seeks return of Balangiga bells

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Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone had asked the United States to return the bells taken by their Army from a church in Balangiga, Eastern Samar, during the Philippine-American War in 1901. “Today, we ask for closure and healing. Heal the wounds of a colonial past. Give closure to an unclosed, bloodied chapter of our lives,” Evardone said in a statement. American General Jacob Smith ordered soldiers to turn Samar into a “howling wilderness” after Filipinos killed 48 American soldiers while having breakfast on September 28, 1901. All males over 10 years old were ordered killed and three bells were taken from the town church, which was burned. “Give us back those bells. They are ours and they are part of our national heritage,” Evardone said. According to the statement, two of the bells are in F.E Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and the third bell is at Camp Red Cloud in South Korea.

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