STALEMATE OF RETURN OF BALANGIGA BELLS TIED TO HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN PH
The Filipino American Community and Veterans area organizations are marking the 117th Remembrance of the Conflict in the town of
Balangiga, Eastern Samar in the Philippines where three church bells were taken away and two of them were brought to the United States and the third to a U.S. military base in South Korea as they were believed to be used to signals for the attack that killed at least 43 U.S. Army Company C - 9th Infantry servicemen and 28 Filipino revolutionary guerillas.
When the bells were supposed to be rang from the church bells of Balangiga, the Filipino guerrillas were supposed to attack the US garrison in the town plaza in the early morning of Sept. 28, 1901 Philippine time.
There has been progress from the United States and Philippine governments to return the bells but Representatives Randy Hultgren (F-14-IL) and James P. McGovern (D-2-MA), Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the United States Congress, have opposed the return of the bells unless President Rodrigo Duterte will observe due process in prosecuting drug suspects and drug users in Mr. Duterte's War on Drugs that has reportedly claimed the lives of more than 20,000 victims.
Rosemarie San Diego, a registered nurse and one of the organizers of the event, said the remembrance will be held on Saturday, Sept. 29, starting at 10:45 a.m. until 12:15 noon at Little Quiapo restaurant at 6259 N. McCormick Blvd., Chicago, Illinois with reception to follow.
Attire will be casual for civilians and summer Delta-short sleeve for the military guests.
Among the sponsors of the event are Fil-Am Post 509 Al, F.D. Roosevelt Post 923Al, Filipino American Veterans Illinois (FAVI) and Chicago Marines.