Zubiri hits back at Diocese of Borongan over Balangiga Bells’ transfer: “How arrogant naman are they” - The Daily Sentry

Friday, December 14, 2018

Zubiri hits back at Diocese of Borongan over Balangiga Bells’ transfer: “How arrogant naman are they”

Bishop Crispin Varquez and Juan Miguel Zubiri / Composite photos from Este News and SPIN.ph
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Thursday takes a swipe at bishop and clergy of the Diocese of Borongan, Samar who argued as ‘disrespectful’ his proposal to lend one of the Balangiga Bells to the National Museum for the benefit of the youth even for a short period of time.

Zubiri, who found the clergy’s statement arrogant, made the counter – argument after the Diocese expressed opposition to Senate Resolution 965 impelling the government to present the Balangiga Bells to the public by placing it at the National Museum "for the appreciation and education of the public especially the youth."

Bishop Crispin Varquez and the Clergy of the Diocese deemed any effort to transfer the bell/s as a "disrespectful mangling of history and the right of the Catholic faithful of Balangiga to their private property."

"The Balangiga encounter at which the bells played a role happened in Balangiga. It is only right that they be returned to Balangiga and stay in Balangiga," the Diocese added.
Bishop Crispin Varquez / Photo from UCAN Directory - Ucanews
Zubiri, however, stressed that he will not force his will on the people and insist on keeping one the Bells at the Museum.

In an interview, Thursday afternoon, Zubiri said, “If they don’t agree, so be it. How arrogant naman are they to say that this is disrespecting the history of our country.”

“Actually, we are just asking that it be lent to the National Museum so that more Filipino people will know the history of the country,” he added.

Zubiri maintained that the stay of one of the Balangiga bells at the National Museum would only be temporary, saying that he sees no problem with it since other countries practice similar measures on similar historic artifacts, such as The Mona Lisa and Egyptian mummies.            

The historic Balangiga bells landed at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City aboard a United States Air Force C-130 on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana received the bells from US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim in a turnover ceremony.
Juan Miguel Zubiri / Photo from Manila Bulletin
The bells were taken by American soldiers in 1901 as a war booty.

In defending his appeal, Senator Zubiri said he only wanted the people, particularly the young ones to grasp a thing or two about Philippine history, especially those can not go to Eastern Samar.

"Papahiram lang naman para mas maraming estudyante ang makakakita ng bells. Di naman lahat nakakapunta sa Samar. I would like to visit the bells but not every family can visit. If they don't want it, so be it. Wala namang problema sa akin ‘yan. kung ayaw n’yo eh di ‘wag," he said.

Zubiri insists that the Diocese should rething their stand on the issue.

"Maybe in the kindness of their hearts maybe they can lend it to the National Museum," he said.

“If they don’t want it so be it. Wala namang problema sa akin yan. Kung ayaw niyo, eh ‘di huwag”, the Senator explained


President Rodrigo Duterte, on Thursday, said that the credit of the Balangiga Bells’ return to the Country does not belong to any person.

“It doesn’t belong to a worker or government,” the President said.

“Nobody should ever claim success of that. It is the property of the Catholic faith," he added.

The Bells were returned home from Wyoming after 117 years since they were taken by the American troops in 1901 after a battle in Balangiga Town, Eastern Samar during the Philippine – American War.

The President initially said he was not going to attend the turnover ceremony of the bells, but decided anyway, "due to the persistent requests from the people of Eastern Samar."


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Source: Manila Bulletin