Presidential Aspirant and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

TACLOBAN CITY, March 5 (PNA) — Presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte will have his grand rally in this city on March 14 in a bid to raise his popularity in this Waray-speaking region.

Peter Tiu Laviña, one of Duterte’s spokesperson said they’ve been traveling in major areas in Eastern Visayas as he said Duterte is “weak” in the region.

“Our presidential candidate is very popular on social media, but we admit, he is weak in some areas in the country,” said Laviña.

In the Pulse Asia survey released on Friday, Duterte tied with Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas with 21 percent rating, behind Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe as front runners.

Laviña claimed that Duterte has gained supporters in the city. “In fact people here printed shirts for free, campaign materials for free and we hope to add the numbers.”

Duterte is best remembered by the people of Tacloban as one of the few government officials who distributed relief goods in the city in the immediate aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda.

On November 11, 2013, Duterte and volunteers from Davao inched their way to the city to comfort disaster victims. The Davao city government donated PHP3 million to the local government here.

“We hope to gain supporters here because Duterte is from this region, born in Maasin City, Southern Leyte,” Laviña added. (PNA) VICKY C. ARNAIZ