Balangiga church bells to return home to Philippines
After decades of demands from presidents, petitions, and attempts by community leaders, the Balangiga Bells are finally coming home.
According to a U.S. embassy in Manila statement, Defense Secretary James Mattis has notified Congress that the department will return the Bells of Balangiga to the Philippines.
No date has been set for the church bells that were taken as a war prize from the town of Balangiga over a hundred years ago during the Philippine American War.
Two of the bells are housed at the Warren Air Force base in Wyoming, while a third one is part of a traveling museum.
For several decades, the bells have been a source of contention between the U.S. and Philippines, with President Rodrigo Duterte raising the issues throughout his term.
Joining BA in studio is a historian and community leader who has been part of the movement to bring back the bells, professor Oscar Penaranda.
The bells have a very deep tie to Professor Penaranda, who not only hails from Samar, but his grandfather fought in the Philippine American war under General Vicente Lucban.