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U.S. to Duterte: We Will Return Your Balangiga Bells

The United States government gave President Rodrigo Duterte an assurance to return the Balangiga bells taken by the American troops from a town in Samar in 1901.

Susie Steck

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The United States government gave President Rodrigo Duterte an assurance to return the Balangiga bells taken by the American troops from a town in Samar in 1901. In a report by the Manila Standard, the U.S. embassy spokesperson Molly Koscina also said that the American government will continue to work with their Filipino partners to find a resolution to the issue.

Koscina said:

“We are aware that the bells of Balangiga have deep significance for a number of people, both in the United States and in the Philippines.”

U.S. Embassy Press Attache Molly Koscina

“We will continue to work with our Filipino partners to find a resolution,” she added in a statement released a day after Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address.

During his second SONA, which lasted for two hours, Duterte again lashed out against the American government in front of 1,500 dignitaries, diplomats, and guests, including U.S. Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim.

The Balangiga Bells

“Give us back those Balangiga bells. They are ours. They belong to the Philippines. They are part of our national heritage.” Duterte demanded.

U.S. Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim

Sung was in the session hall of the Batasan Complex in Quezon City when Duterte demanded the return of the bells. As his face flashed on screen during Duterte’s tirade, he betrayed no emotion and even took off his headphone, used for interpretation.

Dutere said that the U.S. troops during the Philippine-American war, took the church bells of Balanggia town in Eastern Samar.

According to history, the Church bell is a signal for Filipino troops to attack the Americans in town on September 28, 1901. There are 48 members of the 9th US Infantry Regiment were killed.

There are three Balangiga bells. Two of them are displayed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming while the other one is with US Army regiment in South Korea.

A veteran of the Vietnam War however said that those bells are spoils of war where the troops who won will collect all the wealth.

“Those are spoils of war. Even in biblical times, the winners collect all the wealth, including kids & women to be their slaves. & 10% is offered to the Lord,” said the veteran who refused to be named.

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Japanese Woman Dies From Tick Disease After Being Bitten By A Cat

Tick bites are usually painless so patients don’t really know that they’ve been bitten.

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A Japanese woman who had been helping a stray cat died last year after being bitten by one. According to Japan health ministry, the woman may have died from a tick-borne disease, which she contracted from the feline.

This finding bears much significance since it could be the first case of a mammal to human transmission. Tick disease is usually caused by a direct bite from the parasite.

The unnamed woman in her 50s was helping a sick stray cat when she got bitten.

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NAIA Baggage Loader Arrested After Stealing Jewelry From Passenger’s Bag

The suspect had been under surveillance for another case of theft.

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Philippines’ Ninoy Aquino International Airport was in hot water because of the scandalous “tanim bala” or bullet planting scheme in 2015, which airport security personnel were allegedly doing as a means of extortion. Now, the airport is once again facing controversy as airport authorities recently arrested a baggage loader who was caught stealing.

Filipino publication Pilipino Star Ngayon (via The Manila Times) reported that an officer from the Aviation Operations and Management, Inc. (AVOMSI) arrested the suspect, named Roger Daniel, after jewelry items were found in his hands. According to the report, Daniel had, in his possession, four sets of earrings, four rings, two necklaces, and a wristwatch. These items belonged to a passenger of the Etihad Airways.

A security specialist confronted the suspect after he saw him act suspiciously.

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Thailand is Sick Of Backpackers Begging For Money On Streets

The country’s government even coined the term ‘beg-packers’ for them.

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Travelling to different places is definitely a fun thing to do, provided that you have the luxury to do so. And by luxury it means resources such as food, clothes and, more importantly, money. These are the basics – a no-brainer perhaps. But alas, some so-called backpackers are trying to stain the art of travel by begging for money on the streets.

Apparently, Thailand has had enough of these backpackers. In fact, they coined them with the name "beg-packers" for the literal meaning of it.

Backpackers (infamously known as "beg-packers") are flooding the streets of Thailand, begging for money to support their travel needs.

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