US willing to return all 3 Balangiga bells

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THE United States government is willing to return all the three bells taken by American soldiers from the Balangiga church in Eastern Samar more than the century ago, US Ambassador Sung Kim said Thursday.

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Talking to reporters after the turnover of two Cessna 208B Caravans by the US government to the Department of National Defense, Kim said the US government was aware of the significant meaning of the bells to Filipinos.

“We know that these bells are very important to the Filipino people and we in fact have been working for some time to reach a resolution on this issue and we will continue that efforts,” Kim told reporters.

GIFT FROM AMERICA Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (right) and US Ambassador Sung Kim try out one of two Cessna 208B Grand Caravan intelligence and reconnaissance aircraft donated by the US government. Lorenzana said the two aircraft would be used for maritime patrols over the West Philippine Sea. PHOTO BY BOB DUNGO JR.

Two of the bells are at F. E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming and one bell is at Camp Could in South Korea.
“If at all possible we would like to return all three bells as soon as possible,” the US ambassador said.
He however admitted that the bells also have significant importance to US veterans.

The three bells taken by American soldiers from Balangiga church are considered war booty.

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