his editorial revisits the issue of the bells of Balangiga. At present, the United States has
in its possession three bells that belonged to the parish church of Balangiga.
Since mid 90's, when President Ramos sought their return
from the Clinton Administration, various veteran and historical
associations have lobbied for and against their return.
The Balangiga "incident" as
some prefer to call it, happened over a hundred years ago on the Visayan island
of Samar. In the early morning hours of September 28, 1901, as a company of American
soldiers prepared for breakfast, bolo-wielding townsmen launched a surprise
attack on them. By the end of that day 48 Americans were dead, 22 were wounded,
and only four escaped unharmed.
quickly launched a
brutal counter-offensive that destroyed the town and killed scores of Filipinos. Balangiga was left in ruins. The American soldiers then took with them three
bells from the parish church.
Today, Filipinos want those
bells back and while some Americans favor the return of at least one bell,
others refuse to consider even that.
To better understand this
issue Philippine NewsLink turned to Bob Couttie, author of the book Hang the
Dogs, The True and Tragic History of the Balangiga Massacre, published
late last year in the Philippines.
Click here for the Philnews interview with Bob Couttie
Click here to read the comments of Bishop Medroso