House support for Palace legislative agenda seen

CAMARINES Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte has predicted that Malacañang is likely to secure greater support for its legislative agenda in the incoming 18th Congress, most especially from legislators who will seek reelection or run for different or higher elective posts in 2022.

This was stressed by Villafuerte given the now-proven transferability of President Duterte’s record popular backing to his chosen election candidates.

Villafuerte said legislators who have their eyes set on the 2022 polls are expected to give their full backing to the administration’s priority bills over the remaining half of the Duterte presidency, in the hope of eventually securing the President’s public endorsement of their would-be candidacies.

“Lawmakers who want to boost their chances for poll victory in the 2022 elections are likely to avoid standing in the way of the President’s legislative agenda, considering the overwhelming victory of the candidates he had openly endorsed in the just-concluded midterm senatorial and local races,” said Villafuerte after all eight “Otso Diretso” senatorial candidates lost in the election.

With the President’s further consolidation of political power following the victory of an overwhelming majority of his handpicked bets who had run for either congressional seats or local elective posts, Villafuerte said that most 2022 wannabes would not dare oppose Malacañang for fear of not getting Mr. Duterte’s blessings in the next balloting.

Villafuerte said “a failure to get the President’s endorsement in 2022 could be the “kiss of death” to the would-be candidacies of incumbent or incoming elective officials.

“The next elections will likely be the day of reckoning for incumbent officials with 2022 electoral ambitions who either support or not the President’s pro-poor and pro-growth agenda from hereon till then,” said Villafuerte.

Villafuerte said the dismal poll performance of the opposition was a resounding vote of confidence in President Duterte that will give him a fresh mandate to push further reforms and initiatives, in keeping with his agenda to sustain the growth momentum and reduce poverty incidence to just 14 percent by 2022.