Aug 16, 2018
Balangiga bell advocates say Philippine government must push for deadlines
Now that the announcement has been made, advocates for the return of the Balangiga Bells say that it’s time to put the pressure on and follow through.
Former Hollywood actor turned treasure hunter Logan Clarke has been on a crusade to bring the bells home, launching a campaign and getting Hollywood stars involved in raising awareness.
He’s been lobbying lawmakers to help with the bells return.
This week, US Defense Secretary James Mattis announced the department has notified Congress of its intent to return the Bells — saying, it in the interest of national security.
“He said it’s coming back and make everybody expect it to happen. It is now a foregone conclusion that they are bringing the Bells back. Publicity needs to push them to give a deadline because this administration has a lot of talk but it doesn’t walk very much,” said Clarke.
Despite the developments, some Wyoming lawmakers have opposed the return of the Bells.
Congresswoman Liz Cheney, and Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, issued a joint statement saying the bells are a memorial to American soldiers who lost their lives, and removing the bells would establish a dangerous precedent for the future of veterans memorials.
Clarke believes the Philippine government — including President Rodrigo Duterte need to play an active role in the return.
Clarke adds that while the final date is being hammered out, the Philippines should also plan a grand celebration for when the bells return, making sure this issue is kept in the spotlight, and the pressure for the US government continues.