Eleksyon '49 - The Dirtiest Elections in Philippine History

With less than a year remaining, the Philippines will be electing another man/woman in office, the Presidency of the country, and yet many politicians have started their political campaigns already. Many observers are wary of the typical and usual political malpractice in ensuring victory.

"Every epoch has its own heroes and every hero has his own epoch."
-- President Elpidio Quirino

With less than a year remaining, the Philippines will be electing another man/woman in office, the Presidency of the country, and yet many politicians have started their political campaigns already. Many observers are wary of the typical and usual political malpractice in ensuring victory.

But 60 years ago, political participation was still the same as today though its not that quite sophisticated because of the absence of mobile phones and television, cheating and intimidation was rampant when the country was still reeling from post-war reconstruction, growing Communist insurgency and rampant lawlessness in the countryside.

As for President Quirino's case, the Philippines was still struggling to reconstruct itself back to the day it was. After the United States gave the Philippines independence on July 4, 1946, the country is now left on its own to survive even though the country received much of the World War II reparations in Asia from the Japanese government. Private armies, brigands and hoodlums, and Communist partisans -- who used to wage guerilla wars against the Japanese army have turned their attention on corrupt political kingpins -- have made the country a gangland.

President Quirino's predecessor, President Manuel Roxas, was successful in getting rehabilitation aid from the United States at the price of giving the Americans strategic military bases in Subic and Clark Field. And one of the unforeseen consequences of the U.S.-Philippine defense agreement was the American "secret war" against the Communists and left-wing elements in the country. It is also an open secret that the Central Intelligence Agency may have meddle in the country's foreign and domestic affairs. It was during this time that the Hukbalahap were at the peak of its power and popularity because it seems that the government was helpless in preventing widespread lawlessness and the fact that most of the provincial and local government officials were corrupt.

Because of President Roxas' heavy-handed approach against the partisans, there was widespread discontentment by the peasants and so it is not surprising that many asked protection from the partisans instead from the local authorities. Unfortunately, President Roxas died from a heart attack on April 15, 1948, while having a speech at Clark Air Base.

President Quirino inherited the presidency and just like any political successor who wasn't elected, it is interesting to point out that he doesn't have the political mandate to rule the country. Its a big challenge to fill in the shoes of one's predecessor. And so in order to gain political legitimacy, getting reelected by a popular vote is the only way to gain political mandate. And so as President Quirino is about to finish the remaining years of the late President Roxas' term, he filed his candidacy for reelection as President of the Philippines.

Historically, an incumbent has always the entire political machinery that could topple any aspiring presidentiable. And two people are standing on the way for President Quirino's reelection -- Jose P. Laurel (the President of the Japanese-sponsored government) of the Nationalista Party and Jose Avelino of the Liberal Party (it was a different faction from the administration party).

According to "The Magsaysay Story" by Carlos P. Romulo and Marvin M. Gray, publisher of the Manila Evening News, they accused President Quirino of widespread fraud and intimidation of the opposition by military action, calling it the "dirty election".

In the run-down to the coming elections, political dirty tricks were already being played out as the political candidates from the local to the national elections played their hearts out to "buy" political favor from their constituents.

According to Thomas B. Bruell in his book "The quiet warrior: a biography of Admiral Raymond A. Spruance," armed thugs were hired by the Liberal Party to frighten away opposition voters while ballot boxes were stuffed with phony ballots while in transit from distant regions to Manila, where they are counted. These dirty tactics are still the classic choice of actions traditional politicians do. Mr. Bruell summed it up in a statement like this: 'Brute force, not votes, had been the deciding factor in the past elections.'

And so these dirty tactics were enough to ensure President Quirino's victory in the election as the elections results showed:

Nominee - Running Mate - Popular Vote
Elpidio Quirino (Liberal) - Fernando Lopez - 1,803,808 (50.93%)
José P. Laurel (Nationalista) - Manuel Briones - 1,318,330 (45.71%)
José Avelino (Liberal*) - Vicente J. Francisco - 419,890 (11.85%)
* - a rival faction

It is interesting to note that Senator Jose Avelino may have been used to capture potential votes for Jose P. Laurel. The elections may have been either way of the 400,000 votes may go to Laurel's favor. It was the only time in Philippine history where the duly elected president, vice president and senators all came from the same party, the Liberal Party. The senators, both from President Quirino's faction, that won were: Quintin Paredes, Esteban R. Abada, Lorenzo Sumulong, Enrique B. Magalona, Tomas L. Cabili, Macario Peralta, Jr., Justiniano Montano, and Teodoro de Vera.

Many questioned the disputed election, thus in turn tarnished the reputation of President Quirino's credibility of stopping government corruption and the growing power of the Hukbalahaps in the countryside. Many thought that the American intelligence agency may have a hand in the election turnout. Its not surprising that an unpopular government may put American interests in jeopardy. Mr. Bruell pointed out that the Philippine government was established as the "showcase of democracy" in Asia. In an Asia threatened by communism, the Philippines were "proof" to other Asians that democracy could work for them as well, Mr. Bruell adds.

President Quirino may have started to permanently put his foothold in the presidency for good and as rumors of the administration planning to have repeat "performance" for the next elections. Mr. Bruell relates that another victory by President Quirino in the next elections may instigate a nationwide uprising and a possible Communist takeover.

Despite term limits that safeguard the democratic institutions, leaders have tried to evade the law by propping up "Kamag-anak Incorporated" to further their political power. It is not surprising that some politicians resort to propaganda and rampant cheating to stay in power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

And after four years in power, President Quirino suffered a humbling defeat from former Defense Secretary Ramon Magsaysay. The election of 1953 reversed the political climate of the country as the Nationalista Party destroyed the Liberal Party's political control.

In a book entitled "Democracy, Accountability, and Representation" by Adam Przeworski, Susan Carol Stokes, and Bernard Manin, they said that in 22 presidents who faced reelection without impending term limits, only 14 were not reelected, and of those only 6 can be counted as real defeats by incumbents like the case of Quirino who was defeated by Magsaysay in 1953 as well as President Carlos Garcia was defeated by Diosdado Macapagal in 1961.

This reason can be attributed to the fear that presidentialism gives an excessive advantage to the incumbents and as South American liberator Simon Bolivar would say "We elect monarchs whom we call presidents." Thus the fear of presidents turning into monarchs was the reason for imposing term limits.

President Quirino's defeat in 1953 may have been a lead bullet with a colateral damage that lead to the untimely death of President Magsaysay four years later. Ex-President Quirino never ran for public office again and died on February 29, 1956. The Philippines is still suffering from archaic political practices and still looking for political stability.

Come 2010, lets vote wisely and learn from the dark past of the 1949 elections so that we can select the right people to run our country and exorcise the demons that made our country ill.

Note: This article is a reprint of my article posted in my old blog site.



100,1,1924 summer olympics,1,1936,1,1949,1,2012 olympics,1,2014 aff suzuki cup,1,2016 olympic basketball,2,2019 fiba world cup,2,adobo,1,adolf,1,aff suzuki cup teams,1,afghanistan,1,aguilas,1,ai art,1,al-andalus,4,alan nacorda,1,albinism,1,alcohol,1,alcoholic,1,alejo santos,1,alibata,1,altered timeline,20,alternate history,34,althistory,22,american,2,ancestry,2,ancient filipino,1,andres bonifacio,2,andres bonifacio family tree,1,andres bonifacio genealogy,1,andres novales,1,ang pasko ay sumapit,1,antonio luna,3,articles,1,artificial intelligence,1,artista,4,artistas,3,asian,1,asian games,1,asians,1,ask me,6,athletes,1,automobiles,1,azkals,8,aztecas,1,bacolod city arena,1,balangiga,1,barato sa unang panahon,1,barcelona,1,basketball,11,bayanihan,1,baybayin,1,beauty,1,bells,1,benjie paras family tree,1,berlin,1,beverage,1,biases,1,bill hoyt,1,billy ray bates,1,biopic,1,bisaya,1,black and white,2,black superman,1,bombs,1,border,1,boyfriend-girlfriend,1,brain drain,2,Brazil,1,british,1,british empire,1,brown,1,burger,1,butterfly effect,20,calvin abueva,1,calvin abueva family tree,1,calvin abueva genealogy,1,calvin sweeney,1,campaign ads,1,canonigo family,3,canonigo family history,2,canonigo family tree,4,canonigo genealogy,4,canonigo surname,2,carcar,1,cartago delenda est,1,carthage,1,carthagiensis victoriae,1,cartographic history,1,cat meat,1,catfish,1,ceboom,1,cebu,11,cebu arenas,1,cebu brt system,1,Cebu cinema,1,cebu city,9,cebu coliseum,1,cebu developments,1,cebu hauntings,2,cebu heritage,7,cebu history,32,cebu masterplan,1,cebu megadome,2,cebu mrt system,1,cebu railways,1,cebu shopping malls,3,cebu sports facilities,1,cebu stadiums,1,cebu streets,1,Cebu theaters,1,cebu tourism,1,cebuano,3,cebuano spy,1,cebuano television show,1,celebrity gossip,2,characters,1,chika minute,1,china,2,chinese,4,chinese ancestors,2,chiong veloso family,1,chismis,1,christianity,2,christmas,2,christmas carols,1,christmas in the philippines,3,chronicles,4,Civil War,2,claudio,1,coke go for goal,1,colon obelisk,1,colon street,1,colorized old photographs,3,comic book,2,comic books,1,comics,1,comparison,1,conrado tudtud,1,controversy,1,corrupt politicians,5,costliest typhoons,2,covid-19,1,cuisine,5,culinary trip,2,cultural,1,cultural cringe,1,culture,1,curse,1,dall e,1,dancing sun,1,dante guidetti,1,darna,2,darna ajaib,1,darth vader family tree,1,davao basketball arena,1,davao sports venue,1,david nepomuceno,1,deadliest firecrackers,1,deadliest typhoons,2,december,1,december 7 1941,1,delenda est,1,department stores,1,developments,1,disaster relief,1,disinformation,1,disputed islands,1,dna test,1,dongmakgol,1,drinking culture,1,dutch,1,dynamites,1,dynasty,1,eddie gil,1,election,4,election ads,2,election campaign,4,electioneering,5,elections,6,eleksyon 2016,1,eleksyon 49,1,elena jurado,1,elena jurado ancestors,1,elena jurado family tree,1,elena jurado genealogy,1,elpidio,1,emperor novales,1,enrique of malacca,1,entertainment,2,epal,2,epalism,2,exotic cuisine,1,expatriates,1,fake facebook profiles,1,fake profiles,1,family history,2,family tree,6,famous relatives,1,fashion,1,fear,1,fear factor,1,fears,1,feature,14,featured,6,fernando poe jr,1,fiba olympic qualifying tournament,2,fiba world championship,5,fiba world cup,4,fifa world cup,1,fighter wine,1,filipino,5,Filipino architecture,2,filipino celebrities,1,filipino comics,1,filipino culture,2,filipino diaspora,1,filipino films,1,filipino mall culture,1,filipino nationalism,1,filipino spanish,1,filipino-american,1,filipino-american war,7,filipino-indonesian family,1,filipinos,3,films,3,finding their roots,18,firecrackers,1,fireworks,1,first asian actor in hollywood,1,first touch soccer,2,first touch soccer kits,1,food,7,food trip,3,football,5,football history,7,football league structure,2,football legends,2,football tournament,2,foreign relations,3,foreigners,1,fpj,1,france,1,FTS kits,3,fts15,3,fts15 kits,4,future,1,gabe norwood,1,gabe norwood family tree,1,gabe norwood genealogy,1,gabriel daniel norwood,1,game shows,1,gangnam style,1,gastronomy,4,gaudencio bueno,1,genealogy,8,genie,1,genie of the lamp,1,germans,1,germany,4,gilas,1,gilas pilipinas,11,globalization,1,God Save the Queen,1,goliat,1,gomburza,1,good friday,1,good old days,1,goodbye philippines,1,gossips,3,grandfather paradox,3,Guerrillas,1,guest blogging,3,guest post,3,halalan 2016,1,hamburger,1,han,1,han solo family tree,1,Harry Turtledove,2,hawaii,1,headline,13,henry the black,1,hero,2,hero obsession,1,higugmaa ang dios,1,hilario moncado,1,hipodromo,1,hippodrome,1,hispania,4,historical films,2,historical leaders,2,history,47,history of cebuano language,1,hitler,1,holy week,1,hymns,1,identity thieves,1,imperial manila,1,import,1,independence day,1,indonesian darna,1,indonesian family history,1,indonesian family tree,1,infographics,1,inuman,1,invasion,2,iron sky,1,ispageti,1,italian,1,italians,1,jai alai building,1,jai alai in cebu,1,japan,1,japanese,4,japanese bazaars,1,jeepney,1,jersey,1,jersey number,1,jersey numbers,1,jerseys,1,jesus,1,jim olmedo alapag,1,jimmy alapag,1,jimmy alapag family tree,1,jimmy alapag genealogy,1,jorgensen,2,jose rizal,6,jose rizal family tree,3,jose rizal genealogy,3,jose rizal girlfriends,2,josephine bracken,1,julian daan,1,kahadloki ang dios,1,kalayaan,1,kansas history,1,karaang sugbu,18,karen,1,kasadya ning taknaa,1,killing adolf hitler,1,kingdom of humanity,1,kjc king dome,1,kobe paras family tree,1,komics,1,kontrabida,1,korean,4,korean war,2,koreans,3,koreans in the philippines,1,krag,2,kris,2,language,2,lapulapu,2,learning spanish,1,lebron james ancestors,1,lebron james family history,1,lebron james family tree,1,lebron james genealogy,1,lebrons real father,1,leia organa family tree,1,lito lapid,1,litratista,1,living in cebu,2,london olympics,1,london riots,1,long distance relationships,1,long lost family,4,los extranjeros,1,los tiradores de la muerte,1,lost ancestors,2,lost landmarks,8,louisiana,1,love on the internet,2,luke skywalker family tree,1,luzon lumber,1,mabolo golden era,1,machine learning,1,mactan,1,maharlika pilipinas basketball league,1,malacañang,3,malaysia,1,malditas,2,mall of asia arena,2,malls,1,mampor,1,manila,2,manila men,1,manila xi,1,maniniyot,1,mariano vestil,1,marie josephine leopoldine bracken,1,marites,1,mars ravelo,1,mass hysteria,1,massacre,1,max joseph,1,mba,1,medicinal wines,1,medieval christianity,1,megadome project,1,merdeka,1,mes que un club,1,metro cebu,5,metropolitan basketball association,1,mexicans,1,mexico,1,micronations,1,midjourney,1,military food,1,military ration,1,minda mora,1,mindanao,1,ming dynasty,1,missouri history,1,moa arena,1,money,1,Morac-Songhreti-Meads,1,moro,2,mortal kombat,1,movies,3,mtv,1,mugen philippines,1,mugen pilipinas,1,murang bilihin noon,1,muslim,2,national anthems,2,national basketball association,1,national dish,1,natural disasters,1,nazi,1,Nazi victory,2,NBA,3,negros basketball arena,1,netherlands,1,netherlands east indies,1,nev schulman,1,news misreporting,1,nightmare,1,nippon bazar,1,no hablo espanol,1,north korea,1,nuisance candidates,1,occupied Japan,1,ofw,2,old cebu,25,old documentaries,1,old films,1,old parks of cebu,1,old photographs,3,old plazas of cebu,1,Olympic Games,2,olympic gold medals,1,olympics,2,one hundred,1,online relationships,1,operation,1,overseas filipino workers,2,paduka pahala,1,pagkaing pinoy,1,pandemic,1,pangasinan,1,paputok,1,paracel,1,parallel worlds,3,paras family tree,1,paras genealogy,1,pascual racuyal,1,pasko sa sugbu,1,pasta,1,pastor apollo quiboloy,1,paul john dalistan,1,paul lee,1,paul lee family tree,1,paul lee genealogy,1,paulino alcantara,1,pba,5,pba dleague,1,PBA home away format,2,pba players,4,pbl,1,pcbl,1,pearl harbor,1,peftok,1,penitence,1,penitencial practices,1,perrelos,1,personal,2,pesos,1,Philippine architecture,2,philippine arena,3,Philippine basketball,2,philippine basketball association,8,philippine basketball team,8,philippine cinema,2,philippine election,2,philippine expeditionary force,1,philippine football team,11,philippine history,25,philippine movies,6,philippine politics,5,philippine sports stadium,1,philippine television,1,philippine-american war,4,philippines,25,philippines football league,6,philippines in the olympics,2,philippines-china relations,2,phobia,1,phobias,1,pilate,1,pinoy food,3,pinoys,1,point of divergence,11,political,4,political corruption,6,politics,6,pontius,1,pop culture,3,Portugal,1,portuguese,1,prejudices,2,presidentiables,2,presidential,2,presidential election 2016,2,presidents,4,princess,1,private,1,public transportation,1,pulutan,1,punic wars,1,quirino,1,race relations,2,racism,3,Red Legs,1,religion,1,republic of cebu,1,Republic of Koneuwe,1,rizals chinese ancestors,1,Robert Silverberg,1,robinsons galleria cebu,2,Roma Eterna,1,Roman Empire,1,rome,2,royal ancestors,1,rumors,2,russia,1,sabah,1,samahang basketbol ng pilipinas,2,scarborough shoal,2,scripts,1,sea games,1,seaside city arena,1,segunda katigbak ancestors,1,segunda katigbak descendants,1,seven years war,1,shoutout culture,1,showbiz,1,si goot da wanderpol,1,sick man of asia,1,sidekicks,1,silmido,1,sioktong,1,siomai,1,siomai sa tisa,1,siopao,1,skin color,1,skin tone,1,skin whitening,1,sm arena cebu,1,sm city cebu,1,sm malls,1,sm seaside city,4,sm seaside city arena,2,smart gilas,6,soccer,2,social commentary,2,south korea,1,southeast asian games,1,Soviet invasion of Japan,1,spaghetti,1,spain,6,spanish filipino,1,spanish flu,1,spanish in the philippines,1,spanish language,1,spanish-american war,1,speaking spanish,1,sports,4,sports uniform,1,spratly islands,2,spratly islands dispute,2,st malo,1,stable diffusion,1,star wars family tree,1,Star-Spangled Banner,1,Stephen Curry family tree,1,Stephen Curry genealogy,1,stereotypes,2,street fighter,1,street food,2,sulu sultanate,1,summer,1,superheroes,3,superheroine,1,superpowers,2,supporting actors,1,taegukgi,1,taisho bazar,1,team pilipinas,1,teban,1,telenovela,4,teleserye,4,television,4,television programs,6,television shows,6,territorial dispute,3,The Guns of the South,1,things to do,1,three wishes,1,time travel,2,tomas,1,tomas claudio,1,tourist attractions,1,tourist destinations,1,Trans-Mississippi,1,tv personalities,1,typhoon bopha,1,typhoon haiyan,1,typhoon odette,1,typhoon pablo,1,typhoon rai,1,typhoon yolanda,1,typhoons,2,uk,1,United football league,2,united kingdom,1,united states,4,urban legends,6,urduja,1,us civil war,3,usa,1,valentin santos,1,vehicles,1,vicente rubi,1,video,3,video game,4,video game characters,1,video games,6,villains,1,vino kulafu,1,voc,1,war,8,war in film,1,war movies,1,war on terror,1,warrior princess,1,watusi,1,white,1,white man's burden,1,who do you think you are,9,william grayson,1,willie revillame,1,willing willie,1,wish list,1,women,2,wonder woman,1,world basketball championship,3,world domination,1,world war 2,5,world war one,2,writings,1,written language,1,written scripts,1,ww2,2,wwi,1,wwII,2,
Istoryadista | History Blog | Cebu Blogger: Eleksyon '49 - The Dirtiest Elections in Philippine History
Eleksyon '49 - The Dirtiest Elections in Philippine History
With less than a year remaining, the Philippines will be electing another man/woman in office, the Presidency of the country, and yet many politicians have started their political campaigns already. Many observers are wary of the typical and usual political malpractice in ensuring victory.
Istoryadista | History Blog | Cebu Blogger
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy Table of Content