ROBERT Donald “Bob” Couttie, a known British writer, film director, actor, journalist, producer, radio playwright and a staunch campaigner of the return of the controversial Balangiga Bells in December 2018, has passed away after a short illness in Balangiga, Eastern Samar Tuesday, September 21, 2021. He was 71.
Couttie, who was born in Woking, Surrey, England, came and stayed in Balangiga, where he had finished writing the first volume of his book series, Fool's Gold.
Friends and fellow scholars have come forward to express their condolences to the bereaved family of the British novelist who also wrote the book "Hang the Dogs: The True Tragic History of the Balangiga Massacre."
“You loved Balangiga so much, that you decided to stay and breathed your last in that very historic town,” wrote Prof. Jhonil Bajado, head of Museums and Archives at Samar State University.
“Thank you, Sir Bob, for your daring narratives that debunked many myths in Philippines history,” Bajado added.
Leyte resident historian Prof. Rolando Borrinaga also expressed sadness over the death of Couttie, his fellow member of Balangiga Research Group who called the historic town his home.
“Deeply, deeply saddened to learn that my great longtime friend and workmate Bob Couttie has passed away,” added Michael Sellers, American novelist and film producer.
Sellers, Borrinaga, and Couttie teamed up for a documentary movie, Balangiga I Honor and Sacrifice, that will be the “definitive, authoritative account of the Battle of Balangiga and the remarkable story of Balangiga.”
Couttie, a widower, was admitted at the Albino M. Duran Memorial Hospital in Balangiga before his death.
The British author was a lifetime member of the Philippine National Historical Society and had lived in the country for nearly 30 years.
Friends and loved ones have also set up a fund drive for his funeral. Contact the family by commenting on Couttie’s Facebook, now managed by his stepson. (SunStar Philippines)