Duterte returns to birthplace PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 18:19

MAASIN CITY – The signs say it all: Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is home in his birthplace on Mother’s Day.

Few people know that Duterte, the rising political star of Mindanao, was born on March 28, 1945 in Maasin, Southern Leyte

The welcome streamers announcing Duterte’s arrival put up by both the provincial and city governments, however, are making people aware of that important detail in the mayor’s life.

“Welcome Home!!!” tarpaulin streamers with Duterte’s name and face hanging across the Maasin port, city hall and other strategic areas in the city now herald the arrival of one of its sons.

Duterte is slated to arrive in Maasin on May 10 as the guest of honor of the 4th Roa Clan reunion in Barangay Laboon.

“Definitely, we will welcome him,” said Gov. Roger Mercado when he was informed of Duterte’s arrival.

Mercado said Southern Leyte is eager to welcome Duterte for at least two reasons.

“First, (Duterte) is proud to say that he is from Maasin, unlike some people who no longer admit their roots when they have become popular,” the governor said.

Aside from this, Mercado said Duterte sympathized with Southern Leyte in the aftermath of typhoon “Yolanda” when it struck in many parts of the Visayas more than a year ago.

“He personally visited us and handed out a donation of P3-million,” the governor added.

Duterte was the first local official outside the Visayas who arrived at ground zero after Yolanda exited.

Immediately after his arrival, Duterte will proceed to the Maasin City Hall for lunch hosted by the governor attended by provincial and city officials.

Duterte will also take time to meet with government officials at the Maasin gym courtesy of Mayor Maloney Samaco.

The mayor is also slated to meet briefly with four of his elementary grade classmates at the Laboon Elementary School.

Barangay Capt. Norma Adobas said barangay officials have requested for photo-ops with the mayor.

Duterte will address the Roa clan reunion at the Laboon barangay gym to cap his Maasin visit.

Relatives of the mayor’s mother, Soledad Roa-Duterte, form the majority of the residents of Laboon.

He arrives in Maasin a day after addressing another Roa clan reunion in Cagayan de Oro City.

Duterte has always been proud of his Maasin roots.

“It is the land of my birth. It is the home of my people,” the mayor declared when he arrived in Maasin to extend help to the victims of typhoon Yolanda.

Few people were aware of it then because Duterte has always downplayed his acts of kindness in times of calamities.

The mayor, however, can no longer prevent people from rolling out the red carpet when he arrives in Maasin on Sunday.

After all, the son who made good is coming home to the land of his mother on Mother’s Day.