Balangiga Bells’ home is church, not museum: diocese

MANILA The Diocese of Borongan in Eastern Samar opposed the proposal to place one of the three Balangiga Bells at the National Museum in Manila.

We, the Bishop and Clergy of the Diocese of Borongan collectively object to and strongly stand against the transfer of one or all of the Bells of Balangiga from their historical and rightful habitat, which is the Parish Church of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr, in Balangiga, Eastern Samar, Diocese of Borongan, Borongan Bishop Crispin Vasquez said in a statement Thursday.

We recognize the national significance of the bells. We likewise desire that they be correctly appreciated by all Filipinos, in particular by the young and also by the future generations, he added.

The Catholic Church officials stressed that any effort to transfer the bells is 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, read the statement.

It added that the Balangiga Bells are also sacred artifacts that call the faithful to prayer and worship.

"Therefore, they belong (to) the Church, not in a museum, it stated.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri filed Resolution No. 965 seeking to transfer one of the bells to the National Museum.

Senate Resolution 965 does violence to history and the sacred character and purpose of the Balangiga Bells. It must be rejected, Vasquez added.

On Tuesday, the bells were flown back to Manila after it was taken by US soldiers from the town 117 years ago.

A formal ceremony will be held on Saturday for the turnover of the bells from the government to the Balangiga Church. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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