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We look forward to working with US – Malacanang after news of return of Balangiga bells

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Malacanang is taking a more friendly tone with the United States government after it agreed to return the Balangiga bells to the Philippines after holding these as war booty for over a 100 years.

“We have been informed of the announcement by the US Department of Defense about the Balangiga Bells. We welcome this development as we look forward to continue working with the United States Government in paving the way for the return of the bells to the Philippines,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

“Secretary of Defense (James) Mattis has notified Congress that the Department intends to return the Bells of Balangiga to the Philippines,” Trude Raizen, deputy press attache of the embassy, told the Philippine News Agency Saturday.

The US National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 gives the US defense chief the authority to decide on the bells’ transfer.

The bells were reportedly taken from the Balangiga Church in Samar by American troops as a war booty from the “Balangiga Massacre” in 1901.

One of the three bells has been displayed at the 9th Infantry Regiment in Camp Cloud in South Korea, while the other two have been at the former base of the 11th Infantry Regiment at the FE Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

President Rodrigo Duterte made his first appeal on Washington to return the the war booty during his second State of the Nation Address last year. (PNA)

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