PRRD just 'ladder' in return of Balangiga bells: Palace

By EJ Roque

December 14, 2018, 5:44 pm

MANILA --- Malacañang recognized that while President Rodrigo R. Duterte's actions and pronouncement played a part in the return of the Balangiga bells as a "ladder", the collective will of the Filipinos are the "steps" that led to the return, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Friday.

Panelo said President Duterte's recent remarks disowning credit for the bells' return showed his "action-oriented and no-frill public service marked by humility."

"But the fact remains, is that many have tried, and it was the President's call that triggered the series of meetings that finally resulted in, to the coming home of Balangiga bells. But this is not per say, that the attempts were all futile. To us, it's just like a ladder. It was the steps that finally reached the pedestal," Panelo said in a statement.

Panelo said the President always acts based on the Constitution and aims for public interest.

"The President's statement also shows his sincerity in upholding sovereignty through the use of diplomacy as a leverage to achieve what the country rightly and truly deserves," Panelo added.

In an earlier speech, the President said no single person can take credit for the return of the bells which were seized by U.S. authorities in Balangiga, Eastern Samar, during the Philippine-American War, 117 years ago. (PNA)