Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte receives the rock star treatment in Pangasinan and Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
In the latest Pulse Asia survey, Duterte is lagging behind other frontrunners in the balance of Luzon.
Will giving special attention to the north boost Duterte's numbers?
Pia Ranada reports. - Rappler.com
Pangasinenses step out of their homes and classrooms to see Rodrigo Duterte.
It’s rock-star treatment for the presidential candidate from the south.
He meets with Pangasinan governor Amado Espino Jr said to be supporting Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas.
Duterte tells crowds of thousands in Lingayen and Dagupan City his promise to the country.
RODRIGO DUTERTE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If the Lord is merciful... I don’t want. That’s why after 22 years of being a mayor believe it or not, I don’t have money to buy socks.
Young Pangasinenses are among those who listen.
JOANNE ROXAS, STUDENT: His plan for the Philippines is good. His plan for criminals, it’s good because it’s nice to go out of the house with no worries.
RAPPLER: Have you decided on who to vote for president?
JOANNE ROXAS, STUDENT: Him.
JOANNE ROXAS, STUDENT: Because his plan for the Philippines is good and he has Davao to prove he can do it.
The next day, he also receives a warm welcome in Vigan City.
He is seen with the powerful Singson family.
Duterte has a taste of Ilocos empanada and takes a kalesa around the heritage city.
He makes his pitch for federalism, saying northern regions need it just as much as Mindanao.
RODRIGO DUTERTE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The only way that we will find peace, permanent peace, constant peace would be to go federalism. That’s what you need, that’s what we need. The national government is messing with us. The most outstanding feature of the federal system is you retain most of your income then you contribute to the federal government for its upkeep.
Ilocos Sur is the fourth province in the Ilocos region to be visited by Rodrigo Duterte.
He is obviously paying special attention to the region.
In interviews, he’s said that Luzon is one of his weakest spots and will thus be a focus of his campaign.
It’s the bailiwick of Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr who is running for vice president.
It’s also home to provincial leaders who have pledged their support to other presidential candidates.
Lacking the support of these provincial leaders, Rodrigo Duterte says he plans to go straight to the people.
Some of these people are still undecided.
MARIA MENDOZA, VIGAN RESIDENT: The ones who really have a fighting chance here are Poe and Duterte.
RAPPLER: Who will you vote for president?
MARIA MENDOZA, VIGAN RESIDENT: I don’t know yet, one of those two. But for vice president, we will vote for Marcos.
Who will they choose in the end?
Candidates have only around 2 months to make their case.
Pia Ranada, Rappler, Vigan City.