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  • Should we keep these bells?

    US bill seeks return of Balangiga bells


    WASHINGTON – A bipartisan bill urging President George W. Bush to authorize the return to the Philippines of two church bells taken by the US army from Balangiga, Samar, in 1901 was filed on Sept. 26.

    US Representative Bob Filner, Democrat from California, sponsored House Concurrent Resolution 481 before the 435-member 109th Congress took its break this week for the homestretch campaign for the Nov. 7 elections. The bill's co-authors were Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R, California), and Rep. Ed Case (D, Hawaii).

    The bill has been referred to the House committee on international affairs. It would probably be taken up during the December lame duck session or in the 110th Congress.

    The bells are currently displayed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. The bells were reportedly rung without the permission of the parish priest in Balangiga to signal an attack on the American garrison.

    The 11th US Infantry Regiment, known as the "Wyoming Volunteers," confiscated the bells and brought them to US as war trophies.

    "I am introducing (this bill) as a result of a vote by the Wyoming Veterans Commission to return the bells to the church in Balangiga," Filner said.

    "The acts of conflict that surrounded the bells of Balangiga are not consistent with the friendship that is an integral part of the relationship between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States. Filipino soldiers have fought side by side with American troops in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and the bells should more properly serve as a symbol of friendship and not of conflict," he said.

    For years the Philippines has been trying to negotiate the return of the bells. In 1998, then Ambassador to the US Raul Rabe was tasked to get one of the bells back for the centennial celebration of the birth of the Philippine Republic.

    In December 2004, Erwin Huelswede, former US Veterans Affairs liaison to the White House, and New York Filipino American community leader R Sonny Sampayan met with the Wyoming Veterans Commission, requesting that the bells be returned.

    On March 26 last year, the commissioners heard Jean Wall, daughter of the first soldier killed during the Balangiga incident. She presented the findings of the Balangiga Research Group.

    On Nov. 10, 2003, the Vatican sent a letter to President Bush. Signed by then Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio, the letter read in part: "The return of the bells would greatly contribute in enhancing and reaffirming the beautiful friendship that exists between the people of the United States of America and of the Philippines."

    On Sept. 28, 1901, hundreds of Filipino resistance fighters, mostly armed with bolos, attacked soldiers of Company C of the 9th US Infantry Regiment while they were eating breakfast.

    Of the company's 78-man contingent, 54 were killed or missing while 20 were severely wounded. The guerrillas suffered 20 to 25 killed. They took 100 rifles with 25,000 rounds of ammunition.

    The Balangiga battle was considered the worst defeat suffered by US forces until that time.

    As a result, US forces waged a brutal retaliation against the inhabitants of Samar.

    Gen. Jacob H. Smith ordered his troops to turn Samar into a "howling wilderness."

    "I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn; the more you kill and burn the better it will please me," a subordinate quoted Smith as saying.

  • #2
    US bill seeks return of Balangiga bells


    WASHINGTON – A bipartisan bill urging President George W. Bush to authorize the return to the Philippines of two church bells taken by the US army from Balangiga, Samar, in 1901 was filed on Sept. 26.

    US Representative Bob Filner, Democrat from California, sponsored House Concurrent Resolution 481 before the 435-member 109th Congress took its break this week for the homestretch campaign for the Nov. 7 elections. The bill's co-authors were Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R, California), and Rep. Ed Case (D, Hawaii).

    The bill has been referred to the House committee on international affairs. It would probably be taken up during the December lame duck session or in the 110th Congress.

    The bells are currently displayed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. The bells were reportedly rung without the permission of the parish priest in Balangiga to signal an attack on the American garrison.

    The 11th US Infantry Regiment, known as the "Wyoming Volunteers," confiscated the bells and brought them to US as war trophies.

    "I am introducing (this bill) as a result of a vote by the Wyoming Veterans Commission to return the bells to the church in Balangiga," Filner said.

    "The acts of conflict that surrounded the bells of Balangiga are not consistent with the friendship that is an integral part of the relationship between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States. Filipino soldiers have fought side by side with American troops in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and the bells should more properly serve as a symbol of friendship and not of conflict," he said.

    For years the Philippines has been trying to negotiate the return of the bells. In 1998, then Ambassador to the US Raul Rabe was tasked to get one of the bells back for the centennial celebration of the birth of the Philippine Republic.

    In December 2004, Erwin Huelswede, former US Veterans Affairs liaison to the White House, and New York Filipino American community leader R Sonny Sampayan met with the Wyoming Veterans Commission, requesting that the bells be returned.

    On March 26 last year, the commissioners heard Jean Wall, daughter of the first soldier killed during the Balangiga incident. She presented the findings of the Balangiga Research Group.

    On Nov. 10, 2003, the Vatican sent a letter to President Bush. Signed by then Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio, the letter read in part: "The return of the bells would greatly contribute in enhancing and reaffirming the beautiful friendship that exists between the people of the United States of America and of the Philippines."

    On Sept. 28, 1901, hundreds of Filipino resistance fighters, mostly armed with bolos, attacked soldiers of Company C of the 9th US Infantry Regiment while they were eating breakfast.

    Of the company's 78-man contingent, 54 were killed or missing while 20 were severely wounded. The guerrillas suffered 20 to 25 killed. They took 100 rifles with 25,000 rounds of ammunition.

    The Balangiga battle was considered the worst defeat suffered by US forces until that time.

    As a result, US forces waged a brutal retaliation against the inhabitants of Samar.

    Gen. Jacob H. Smith ordered his troops to turn Samar into a "howling wilderness."

    "I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn; the more you kill and burn the better it will please me," a subordinate quoted Smith as saying.

    Comment


    • #3
      boy, I know I will lose a lot of sleep over this issue.....

      Comment


      • #4
        Can't you just have a heart attack in your sleep?

        PLEASE!

        Comment

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