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Bumait bigla! Duterte hails US’ ‘generous act’ of returning Balangiga bells

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President Rodrigo Duterte has made an about face from his critical view of the American after they returned the Balangiga bells to the Philippines.

Duterte lauded the Americans for returning the bells during their turnover to the Eastern Samar town Saturday (December 15).

“Nobody but nobody can claim a singular credit for the generous act of the Americans. The bells are returned. The credit goes to the American people and to the Filipino people, period,” he said.

Duterte said the bells’ return signals the start of a better relationship between the US and Philippines.

The bells were taken by the Americans as a war booty during their occupation of the Philippines in 1901.

They arrived in Manila earlier this week after being in the United States for over a century.

Duterte said he is hopeful that Filipinos will treasure the bells, which are considered important artifacts.

“I therefore trust that our kababayans in Balangiga and the rest of the country will ensure the protection of these gems and will continue to preserve and promote our culture and history,” he said.