Rodel Balingbing and Erwin Tumala
San Jose, Malilipot, Albay, [08.26.15] – The local parishioners of [Sagrada Familia] Holy Family in San Jose, Malilipot, Albay are pining for the speedy return of their 146 years old church bell who was stolen sometime in the second week of August this year.
A local store keeper in Barangay San Jose, Malilipot who spoke to the Philippine Examiner on Thursday, has expressed his deep concern for the speedy recovery of the stolen bell.
The suspect was arrested by the elements of Malilipot Police after a local junk shop operator in San Roque, Tabaco City informed the authorities, that a certain Hipolito Blanca of Purok 7, Cobo, Tabaco City tried to sell a bell.
According to the police, the first attempt to sell was made by the suspect last August 17.
Blanca, together with a companion who was identified as Wilson Bibon returned again on the following day [August 18], offering to sell the same item, but the shop owner has refused to buy the bell.
Blanca who was arrested by Malilipot police admitted to the crime and confessed that he sold the 25 kilos bell in a local junk shop in Legazpi City at the price of PhP2,500.00.
The Legazpi City junk shop owner also admitted that they bought a bell however, the bell was already delivered in Manila Malilipot police said..
The missing church bell which bears the date of December 30, 1849 is among the cherished religious icon of the people of Barangay San Jose who is soon to be declared as parish, a local resident said.