NPR

Philippines Duterte Praises 'Generous' Americans For Returning Church Bells

The bells return to Balangiga after 117 years in U.S. custody.
Residents take photos and try to touch one of the three Balangiga church bells after a ceremony returning them to the church in the town of Balangiga in the Philippines on Dec. 15, 2018. Source: Ted Aljibe

The Philippines and the United States have reached a rare meeting of the minds: Both are enthralled that church bells seized by the U.S. have been returned to the Philippines after 117 years.

President Rodrigo Duterte, unaccustomed to lauding the U.S., took pains Saturday to call the repatriation of the iconic artifacts "a generous act" by the Americans. For their part, U.S. officials stopped short of an apology, but

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