US envoy: FVR, Erap, GMA, PNoy,also sought Balangiga bells return, but it was Duterte who appealed 'passionately' - The Daily Sentry

US envoy: FVR, Erap, GMA, PNoy,also sought Balangiga bells return, but it was Duterte who appealed 'passionately'

Former presidents (L-R) Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Arroyo and Noynoy Aquino / Photos compiled from Google

Strong political will, that is one leader trait Rodrigo Roa Duterte has a lot as compared to the four previous presidents before him, namely Fidel V.Ramos,  Jospeh Ejercito Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Benigno Simeon Aquino III.

Yesterday will forever etch in the annals of the PH-US alliance; it has closed a dark and painful chapter in their respective history.

Closure of a painful chapter

After 117 years the historic Balangiga bells are home, the cries of the Filipino freedom fighters from long time ago have been heard and now can rest in peace.

The living symbol of the worst American defeat during the Philippine-American war has returned to their homeland.

Ambassador Sung Kim said that the two nations gave a closure to a painful chapter in their history with the return of the Balangiga bells, and he hopes that the current ironclad relation between both countries will be made stronger.

“The return of the Bells of Balangiga lets us reflect on the US-Philippine relationship — where we have been, where we are, where we are going,” Ambassador Kim said 
during the arrival ceremony of the bells at the Philippine Air Force - Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

The US Ambassador said the bells repatriation demonstrates Washington’s determination to honor the past and the sacrifices made together by Filipinos and Americans.

'Loud and clear'

“And it heralds our bright future as friends, partners, and allies,” the US Ambassador stressed.
He also noted that former President Fidel V. Ramos was the first one to raise the issue of returning the bells back to the Philippines with them Democrat US President Bill Clinton in 1993.*

Ambassador Kim added “virtually every Philippine president” has pressed for the bells’ return.

It was during the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Duterte that a passionate appeal was made for the bells’ return, the US Ambassador said he was there and “heard his passionate call loud and clear.”

Duterte as the Philippine president followed up with a personal appeal to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who recognized that the US returning the bells is “the right thing to do.”

Prior to its arrival to the country, it made its final stop in Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. It was there after a long time the three bells are reunited, two of the bells came from Wyoming in the US while the smallest bell was kept in an American military base in South Korea.

The chief executive has made his intention known that he will personally see the delivery of the bells back to the San Lorenzo de Martir Church in Eastern Samar on December 15.

Philippine Air Force personnel slowly lifts one of three Balangiga Bells from its crate after the bells' arrival at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan on Tuesday / photo from GMA News

Source: Politiko