The Balangiga Massacre DOES NOT refer to the legitimate ambush made by Filipino freedom fighters against the surprised U.S. Army company at Balangiga, Samar in Sept. 28, 1901. This raid resulted in the deaths of 48 and wounding of 22 American soldiers. The Balangiga Massacre is the ruthless butchering of unspecified number of innocent Filipino civilians as revenge killing for that valid ambush (,

The U.S. Army took the Balangiga Bells as war trophies after their men, on orders of Gen. Jacob H. Smith, massacred innocent Filipino civilian males aged 10 and older. Shame on Americans or anyone who may think that such an INGLORIOUS act should be perpetuated in the memories of past and future generations. There is nothing honorable or moral about what your soldiers did.

What the Filipino freedom fighters did is a legitimate conduct of combat (in war time), but what Gen. Smith ordered was no less than a criminal and dastardly act – ordering American soldiers to murder Filipino civilians in cold blood and turn Samar into a “howling wilderness”.

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III already authored a Senate Resolution 393 in 2002 urging the Arroyo administration to negotiate the return of the Bells. Let us urge Sen. Pimentel III., who is now the Senate President, to pursue efforts to have the United States return the Balangiga Bells to us. We can write Sen. Pimentel III through his office’s Facebook account or through his Senate office.