MANILA The Diocese of Borongan has prepared a special program for the formal turnover over of the Balangiga Bells to the Balangiga Church, in Eastern Samar, on Saturday.
In an interview on Tuesday, Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, head of the Borongan Diocese - Return of the Balangiga Bells Committee, said several activities will highlight the official turnover from the State to the Church this weekend.
The overall program will have prayer, welcome talk, unveiling and ringing of the bells, he added.
The Catholic priest noted that Church and government officials will deliver speeches during the program which is scheduled to start at 3 pm.
Among them are Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and President Rodrigo Duterte.
But, it was reported on Wednesday that the Chief Executive is no longer attending the ceremony.
After the speeches, it will be followed by the signing of the Certificate of Transfer from the DND to the Diocese.
Quitorio added that military choppers will also be showering flowers to the people while the bells are being rang.
A one-minute prayer for the dead, especially with a cemetery located beside the Parish of St. Lawrence (Balangiga Church), will be offered during the program.
At 6 pm, a Eucharistic Celebration will be conducted to be followed by traditional dances at the nearby city plaza.
On Tuesday, the three church bells were returned to the country after 117 years. They were taken by American soldiers as war trophies.
The two bells came from Wyoming, USA while the other was from South Korea. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency