US to address Balangiga bells issue, says envoy


Posted at Jul 25 2017 03:37 PM | Updated as of Jul 25 2017 05:47 PM

Two Balangiga bells exhibited at Fort D.A. Russel, now F. E. Warren Air Force Base. Wikipedia/Public Domain

MANILA- The United States Embassy in Manila said it will find a way to address the issue of the Balangiga bells taken by American soldiers as war booty more than a hundred years ago.

"‎We are aware that the Bells of Balangiga have deep significance for a number of people, both in the United States and in the Philippines. We will continue to work with our Filipino partners to find a resolution," US Embassy press attache Molly Koscina said in a statement Tuesday.

Koscina's statement came following President Rodrigo Duterte's call during his second State of the Nation Address for US to return the bells.

"Give us back those Balangiga bells. They are ours. They belong to the Philippines. They are part of our national heritage," Duterte said Monday.

The 3 church bells were taken by the US Army from the town of Balangiga, Eastern Samar in 1901 as "war booty."

The bells remain at an American Air Force base in Wyoming.