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MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, May 12 (PIA) -- Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte pitched a federal type of government when he visited this city Sunday to attend a Roa clan reunion, his middle name which he traced his roots as coming from barangay Laboon this city.

"I have no plans to run as President, but I am here to spread the message of federalism," Duterte declared following a warm welcome where he was mobbed by admirers mostly man-on-the-street types as soon as he landed by helicopter at the port area and motored to the City Hall.

He was met by high officials from

the city and province, including City Mayor Maloney Samaco, Gov Roger Mercado, Cong. Roger Mercado, and some Mayors coming from other municipalities of the province, along with other provincial and city officials.

At the third floor lobby of the City Hall that was used as an improvised stage with the use of a riser, Duterte led his captive audience to a 30-minute walk down memory lane of national history, in which he clarified that 70 years before Magellan came to Limasawa, the Muslims have already established a stronghold in sizeable parts of Mindanao.

But in the current issue of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, Duterte did not categorically state whether he is pro or against it, saying only that federalism can address the divisions of various tribes and clans in different parts of the country.

In a federal government set-up, the national government will take care on matters relating to national concerns, while the rest will be delegated to the local government, Duterte said without further elaboration other than saying that a change for federalism would undergo a constitutional amendment.

He endeared with the masses with his no-nonsense style of speaking that include a spattering of invectives in the local dialect to the amusement of the crowd.

Gov. Mercado acknowledged Duterte's help in times of calamities experienced by the province, such as the Guinsaugon disaster and in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda, where he came by chopper to deliver a P3 Million check to the provincial government.

Cong. Damian Mercado said he can very well relate with Duterte's candid style as also his own, saying he supported the advocacy and cause of the visiting Mayor from Davao City.

City Mayor Samaco also pledged an all-out support for whatever plans Duterte may have in the near or far future.

After lunch, Duterte proceeded to barangay Laboon to meet his kin, and by four in the afternoon departed for Cebu. (ajc/esg/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)