MANILA - The historic bells of Balangiga are expected to arrive in the Philippines on Dec. 11, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Tuesday.
The church bells are already in an American Air Force Base in Guam, awaiting shipment to the Philippines, Lorenzana told reporters.
“Nandiyan na sa Andersen Air Force Base sa Guam. Nandiyan na yung tatlo. Naghihintay lang sila ng time,” he said.
Lorenzana will lead the ceremony in receiving the Balangiga bells from the American government at a ceremony in Villamor Air Base next week.
The bells were taken by American troops from Balangiga, Eastern Samar in 1901 as war booty following gruesome clashes. Washington last month agreed to return the church bells.
Lorenzana, however, noted that the bells will not be immediately flown to Samar to give Filipinos in Manila a chance to see it.
"Not later than 15 (December) siguro para naman magkaroon yung tao...makita nila yung bells dito, for a couple of days,” he said.
(The bells will be flown to Samar not later than Dec. 15 to allow people in Manila to see it for a couple of days.)
-report from Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News