As President Trump travels across Asia, he is visiting with key leaders of many nations. During these visits, major economic agreements and other decisions have been announced or made.
It has been a historic trip, with more news surely on the way.
Trump is scheduled to spend time in the Philippines, meeting with their president, Rodrigo Duterte. But rumors have it that Duterte is requesting something pretty strange from Trump.
The question is, will Trump agree to it?
From CBS News:
Duterte wants the United States to return war trophies seized more than 100 years ago: three historic church bells that were taken from the Philippine village of Balangiga after a bloody clash during the Philippine-American War…
Filipinos have long called on the U.S. to return the bells. In July, Duterte said that the bells are symbols of heroism, reminding Filipinos that their ancestors died resisting American colonialists. In his State of the Nation address, Duterte called on the U.S. to return the bells…
A National Security Council spokesman said the Trump administration is open to discussing the situation.
“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,” he said. “We will continue to work with our Filipino partners to find a resolution…”
One source told CBS News that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been looking into what can be done to return the Bells of Balangiga.
But not everyone agrees the bells should be returned. Veterans groups have mixed feelings. Officially, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has no national position on the issue, according to director of communications Joe Davis.
Returning the bells could be considered a sign of goodwill between the United States and the Philippines. It could send a message that past hostilities are long forgotten and both nations are eager for a mutually beneficial alliance.
On the other hand, handing over these bells could be a sign of weakness. Those bells were taken after American soldiers lost their lives. While the U.S. and the Philippines might no longer be fighting, we shouldn’t disrespect the memory of our fallen servicemen.
Considering Secretary of State Tillerson is considering the option, there is a good chance the bells will be returned.
What do you think? Should the United States return the bells? Is it a sign of weakness and goodwill?
Source: CBS News