Lorenzana expresses hope US will return Balangiga bells
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana expressed hope that the return of the Balangiga bells will soon became a reality despite a reported resistance of some quarters in United States.
"In this ever changing world, it is time to heal the wounds of the past, move on, and look to the future," Lorenzana said.
"We thank US Defense Secretary James Mattis for his effort in seeking the return of the bells to our country. We do hope that the US government will follow through with their commitment and that it will become a reality soon," he added.
Lorenzana issued his statement following reports that Wyoming’s congressional delegation were opposing the return of the bells to the Philippines.
"We understand the resistance of some quarters in the US to the return of the Balangiga Bells to the Philippines," said Lorenzana.
"We must all remember that both sides lost many precious lives during the Filipino-American War---the Filipinos suffering many more deaths than the Americans," he noted.
"It was a dark chapter in the shared history of our peoples, which should never be allowed to happen again. Let us not forget, however, that the time came when we set aside our differences and fought side-by-side against a common enemy in World War 2. Currently, we are again working together to fight terrorism, he added.
Lorenzana also called on the "American people not to allow the bells to serve as trophies for atrocities that were committed by both sides on Philippine soil a very long time ago."
"The return of the Balangiga Bells will be a strong indicator of the sincerity of the Americans in forging a lasting relationship with the Filipino people and truly symbolic of what their government has referred to in the past as an ironclad alliance between our two countries," he said. Robina Asido/DMS