MANILA — The US said Saturday it was preparing to ship back to the Philippines “as quickly as possible” 2 church bells that were taken by the US Army from a church in Balangiga, Easten Samar as war bounty in 1901. The Balangiga Bells were placed in wooden crates and loaded into a FedEx truck, according to photos released by the US Embassy in Manila. The images were taken at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming on Nov. 15. The bells were in the US territory of Guam in the Pacific as of Dec. 4 and were expected back in the Philippines by the middle of the month. INFOGRAPHIC: The journey of the Balangiga Bells The US is “committed to returning all 3 bells safely, in the best possible condition, and as quickly as possible,” said embassy press attache Molly Koscina, citing US Defense Sec. Jim Mattis. President Rodrigo Duterte demanded the return of the Balangiga Bells during his State of the Nation Address in July 2017, saying these were part of national heritage.