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An Interpretation of 1953 Presidential Election

An Interpretation of 1953 Presidential Election

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Electoral History in the Philippines
Electoral History in the Philippines

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An Interpretation of the Philippine Election of 1953 Author(s): Harold F.

Gosnell Source: The American Political Science Review, Vol. 48, No. 4 (Dec., 1954), pp. 1128-1138 Published by: American Political Science Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1951015 . Accessed: 21/04/2013 23:01
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AN INTERPRETATION OF THE PHILIPPINE ELECTION OF 1953*
HAROLD F. GOSNELL

American University

Conditions for the successful operation of the democratic form of government have not been present in the Orient. Democracy requires a people who have confidence in themselves, in their leaders, and in the democratic processes, and who have the means for operating democratic institutions. Included in the tools that make democracy work are literacy, a willingness to abide by the rules of the game, and a rapid means of communication and transportation.' In the Orient a fatalistic view regarding government is widespread. People in the lower income groups feel that government is an institution of the few, by the few, and for the few. Vote buying, spoils politics, favoritism, nepotism, grafting, the squeeze, the hold up, the percentage are all taken for granted. As one Filipino senator put it, "Graft and corruption are inherent in human nature."2 The Orient also suffers from the primitive character of means of transportation and communications. Roads are bad, newspapers have limited circulations, telephones and telegraph stations are few, radios are scarce, and travel is often complicated by hazards of water, mountainous terrain, bandits, and wild animals. The Philippine elections of November 10, 1953 show that the difficulties that have hindered the growth of democracy in the Orient can be overcome.3 Before the elections apprehension was widespread that extensive use might be made of fraud and terror to defeat the free expression of the popular will. The election demonstrated that popular sentiment could be mobilized and its expression protected in a Far Eastern country with limited experience with democratic institutions. The election was, therefore, an especially serious setback to communism and fascism. It should not be expected that a country governed for four hundred and fifty years by foreigners would develop leaders of its own overnight. In governing the Philippines the Spaniards made little attempt to train the Filipinos for self* The author was in the Philippines as an observer of the November, 1953 elections for president and national legislature. 1 Harold F. Gosnell, Democracy: Threshold of Freedom (New York, 1948); Richard McKeon and Rokkan Stein, Democracy in a World of Tensions; A Symposium Prepared by UNESCO (Chicago, 1951); Robert Strausz-Hupd and Stefan T. Possony, International Relations in the Age of Conflict between Democracy and Dictatorship (New York, 1950). Herald, Oct. 21, 1953. 2 Senator Jos6 Avelino, quoted by Philippines 3 Harold F. Gosnell, "Filipinos Hold Free Election," National Municipal Review, Vol. 43, pp. 120-22 (March, 1954); T. Durdin, "Philippines Awaits a New Deal," Reporter, Vol. 10, pp. 17-19 (Jan. 5, 1954); T. Durdin, "Filipino Emerges as a New Asian Leader," New York Times Magazine, Nov. 22, 1953, p. 17; C. P. Romulo, "Right Man Wins," Atlantic, Vol. 193, pp. 50-52 (Feb., 1954).

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government. They did not provide universal education, they kept the Filipinos divided by their local dialects, they failed to build a modern system of communication and transportation, and they set the example of a highly centralized government operated for the benefit of the few. The United States, in slightly less than half a century, made some progress in introducing universal education, teaching English as a common language, training leaders, and developing communications.4 But democracy has to be learned through experience, and for the Filipinos the process of learning really began July 4, 1946, their Independence Day. The first elections for the republic were actually held before Independence Day. Sergio Osmefia, who became the President in exile when President Quezon died in 1944, ran for re-election in April, 1946 as the candiate of the Nacionalista party. Had he been given a free hand, he might have been re-elected. When he returned from exile, he wanted to outlaw all who had collaborated with the Japanese occupation. General MacArthur prevented his doing this by directing the calling of a session of Congress which included a number of collaborators. One of these, Senator Manuel Roxas, had been long a rival of President Osmefia. Roxas led the formation of a new political party, called the Liberal party, which challenged President Osmefia's bid for re-election. The Liberals, an offshoot from the Nacionalistas, charged the Osmefla administration with inefficiency, weakness, and favoritism. Effective as a speaker and backed by a large faction of former Nacionalistas, Roxas waged a vigorous campaign, while President Osmefila refused to exert himself. Roxas won by a narrow margin.' The election proved that the administration could be changed by democratic means and showed that it might be possible to build up a two-party system in the Philippines.6 The Roxas administration was disappointing to many. The new president failed to convince the people that he was governing primarily for their benefit rather than for that of the favored few. Spoils and graft in the disturbed postwar days were hard to eliminate. In his two years in office Roxas failed to live up to the promises of his campaign.7 Former Senator Elpidio Quirino, who had been elected vice president in 1946 as a Liberal, became president in April, 1948 following the sudden death of President Roxas. Before he became president, Quirino had not been regarded as an outstanding political leader. He had neither the oratorical powers of
4C. Ralston Hayden, The Philippines, A Study of National Development (New York, 1942). 5 The returns were: Roxas, 1,333,392; Osmefla, 1,129,996. 6Bernard Seeman and Laurence Salisbury, Cross-Currents in the Philippines (American Council, Institute of Pacific Relations, 1946). This discussion has a curious blind spot on the Communist leadership in the Huk movement. On the party system in the Philippines, see Hayden, op. cit.; Jos6 M. Aruego, Philippine Government in Action (Manila, 1953); George A. Malcolm, First Malayan Republic, The Story of the Philippines (Boston, 1951). 7 Manila Sunday Times Magazine, Oct. 25, 1953, pp. 14-16; C. F. Nivera, "Political Review," in Philippine Yearbook 1950-1951 (Manila, 1951), p. 108.

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AN INTERPRETATION

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Quezon or Roxas, nor the organizing abilities of Senator Jos6 Avelino or Speaker Eugenio Perez. The son of a jail warden of Spanish days, Quirino acquired an education, including a law course, in the early days of the American regime, earning his way by government clerkships. He learned politics and administration under the Americans, serving as representative, senator, Secretary of Finance, Secretary of the Interior, and Secretary of Foreign Affairs. He had married into a wealthy family, and had no financial need to indulge in spoils politics. It was charged that he had collaborated to some extent with the Japanese;8 to counterbalance this charge, however, his supporters could point to the killing of his wife and two of his children by the Japanese. As Secretary of Foreign Affairs he had several diplomatic victories to his credit. President Quirino started out with plenty of goodwill, but lacked the vigorous health needed for a clean-up administration. His own friends betrayed his confidence and he found it difficult to get rid of them. Instead he used the techniques of palace intrigue, keeping secret dossiers and using them when he felt that his power was threatened.9 The elections of 1949 were disillusioning to those who hoped to see increasing acceptance of democratic methods. President Quirino gained control of the nominating machinery by bringing graft charges against Senator Jose Avelino, who was trying to unseat him. Senator Avelino bolted the Liberal convention and ran on a Liberal ticket of his own. The Nacionalistas put forward Jos6 Laurel, an effective orator who had been president during the Japanese occupation and who wanted to vindicate his record. Laurel claimed that General MacArthur had left him behind to do what he could for his people. President Quirino was apparently unwilling to take his chances in a free election. The temptation to bring pressure to bear upon the voters was too strong. He used the vast powers of the executive, inherited from Spanish times, to influence the result. It was charged that he used the Philippine Constabulary, the provincial treasuries, the mayors, and other officials to terrorize the voters and manipulate the results. In contests following these elections several Liberal representatives lost their seats. It was alleged that ghosts, monkeys, and bees were allowed to vote in some provinces. While the official returns gave President Quirino 1,796,446 votes, Laurel 1,303,575, and Avelino 419,890, Laurel never admitted that he been defeated.'0
8 Malcolm, First Malayan Republic (cited in note 6), p. 185; Seeman and Salisbury, Cross-Currents in the Philippines (cited in note 6), p. 22; Hernando J. Abaya, Betrayal in the Philippines (New York, 1946). 9 Malcolm, p. 301; "The Tenant in Malacanan," Manila Sunday Times Magazine, Oct. 25, 1953, pp. 14-16; Jos6 L. Guevara, "LP Chances in the Elections," Ibid., Oct. 25, 1953, pp. 30-31; Isidro L. Tetizos, "Why the LP Is Confident of Victory," Counter-Point, Manila. Oct. 20, 1953, pp. 2-3. 10 Nivera, "Political Review" (cited in note 7). The 1953 presidential elections marked a high point in popular participation in the Philippines as a whole. In spite of this, the vote cast in 1949 in the provinces of Negros Occidental and Lanao was far higher than it was in 1953. In Lanao 150 per cent of the estimated number of eligible voters were registered in 1951, according to the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL.)

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In the meantime, the problems facing the government were mounting. Important among these was the growing power of the Communist-led Huk guerrilla movement The Huks or Hukbalahaps were an offshoot of a wartime guerrilla group. In central Luzon, where farm tenancy and unemployment were highest, the Huks were making rapid inroads by promises and threats just as the Communists were doing in other parts of Asia. The armed forces of the Philippines were unable to cope with the situation; their morale was low and they were not popular with the local population, because of the high-handed methods they sometimes used." The United States made the granting of military aid contingent on the improvement of the internal security situation. A young legislator by the name of Ramon Magsaysay was acceptable to the United States as a new Secretary of Defense.'2 President Quirino appointed him to the post in 1950. The son of a blacksmith, lMagsaysay had earned his way through college driving a taxicab. Starting out as a mechanic, he rose before the war to the position of manager of the Zambales branch of a transportation company. His lorries were requisitioned by the Americans. After the surrender to the Japanese, he fled to the hills and became a captain of guerrillas. Following liberation he was made military governor of Zambales. No one could question his war record. He was first elected to the House of Representatives from Zambales as a Liberal in 1946. In the House he stood out as a champion of the interests of the veterans and as a critic of his own party for demoralizing the army and failing to control the Huk menace. As Secretary of Defense, Magsaysay tackled the main problems facing the Department with great vigor. His rules seemed to be: promotion in the army on the basis of merit without favoritism and nepotism, elimination of the causes of discontent, rehabilitation of the Huks willing to surrender. The measures adopted improved the morale of the army, led to the arrest of prominent members of the Communist Politburo in the Philippines, kept increasing military pressure on the Huks, placed relations between soldiers and civilians on a better basis, and resettled a respectable number of Huks on farms in the public lands of Mindanao. His record was so outstanding that it caught the imagination of the people and as early as 1951 he was hailed as the next president of the Philippines. His prestige was enhanced by the attention that he attracted abroad, particularly in the United States, where he became the subject of a number of articles in magazines of wide circulation.'3
11 Russell H. Fifield, "The Hukbalahap Today," Far Eastern Survey, Vol. 20, pp. 13-18 (Jan. 24, 1951). 12 Mr. Magsaysay said on October 17, 1953, in a speech; "Ask Mr. Quirino if it is not true that the United States refused to enter into the military assistance pact unless he first cleaned out the corruption and inefficiency of his armed forces. Ask him if it is not true that when he suggested that I be made Secretary of National Defense, the American negotiators promptly agreed, and only then was the pact concluded." Philippines Free Press, Oct. 31, 1953, p. 55. 13Robert Shaplen, "Huks, Foe in the Philippines," Colliers, Vol. 127, pp. 11-13 (April 7, 1951), and "Letter from Manila," New Yorker, Vol. 27, p. 96 (April 7, 1951);

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As the 1951 senatorial and provinicial elections approached, President Quirino gave his Secretary of Defense the job of trying to insure the honesty of the voting. Secretary Magsaysay performed this task so well that the elections were generally accepted as fair and clean. The Nacionalista senatorial candidates defeated the Liberal candidates, including the President's brother, Tony Quirino. All Nacionalista candidates were elected, polling about 59 per cent of the total vote.14 The growing rivalry between the President and his Secretary of National Defense made a break between the two men inevitable. On February 28, 1953, Secretary Magsaysay resigned from the cabinet and issued a statement in which he said in part: ". . . it would be useless for me to continue as Secretary of National Defense with the special duty of killing Huks as long as the administration continues to foster and tolerate conditions which offer fertile soil for Communism and I have repeatedly and publicly said that merely killing dissidents will not solve the Communist problem. Its solution lies in the correction of social evils and injustices and in giving people a decent government free from dishonesty and graft."'5 Magsaysay left the Liberal party and Senators Laurel and Recto backed his nomination as the Nacionalista party candidate for president. At the Nacionalista convention, Senator Laurel and other senatorial leaders were able to persuade most of the delegates to support Magsaysay for the nomination. A small number of delegates held out for Senator Osias and then bolted the party to the opposition. In the Liberal convention, former Ambassador Carlos P. Romulo sought the nomination but the control of the delegates was firmly in the hands of President Quirino. Vice President Fernando Lopez, who had been refused a renomination by the Liberals, joined forces with Romulo. Both men bolted the Liberal party and formed a new Democratic party which campaigned until the middle of August, at which time the two men withdrew their candidacies and formed a coalition with the Nacionalista party. Lopez became a candidate for senator on the Nacionalista-Democratic ticket. II Representing the old order, President Quirino made a last stand. Some of his Liberal colleagues had wisely urged him to step aside,'8 but he clung to the idea that he might repeat his performance of 1949. He found it hard to believe that
Time, "Cleanup Man," Vol. 58, pp. 33-34 (Nov. 26, 1951); W. L. Worden, "Robin Hood of the Islands," Saturday Evening Post, Vol. 224, pp. 26-27 (Jan. 12, 1952); H. W. Fey, "Changes in the Philippines," Christian Century, Vol. 69, pp. 119-21 (Jan. 30, 1952); WV. C. Bullitt, "No Peace in the Philippines," Readers Digest, Vol. 60, pp. 95-98 (March, 1952). 14 Journal of Philippine Statistics, Vol. 5, Table 5 (Nov.-Dec., 1952). 1I "Philippine Elections," World Today, Chatham House Review, pp. 508-10 (Dec., 1953). 16 Leon 0. Ty, "Peaceful Revolution," Philippines Free Press, Manila, Nov. 21, 1953, p. 4.

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this young upstart, whom he had helped to make successful, could defeat an experienced statesman like himself. He had delusions that he was popular. His sycophants did not tell him that, as one Filipino put it, the people were mad.'7 He attempted to whip up the old fear of American imperialism in order to win the nationalist vote. In reply to Senator Laurel's statement that American help might be needed to get an honest vote, President Quirino exclaimed that he would resist American intervention with the last drop of his blood. He failed to note that the old issue no longer held the interest that it once did. There was little danger of American intervention, as indeed he admitted, but this did not stop his beating the dead horse.'8 The real issue was not American intervention but American aid. He also appealed, somewhat plaintively, to the record of his accomplishments, insisting that the war damage had been repaired more rapidly in the Philippines than in any other country and that Philippine production had gone forward. On paper the record was impressive. But the opposition questioned how much credit Quirino could claim for it. With American aid and with private capital and initiative, the economic well-being of the country had indeed been going forward, they conceded. What they wanted to know, however, was whether it was going forward as fast as it could and who was reaping the benefit. The President was confident of winning. He had a well-oiled, well-fueled, and well-financed machine, operated by the shrewd Speaker of the House, Eugenio Perez. This machine had defeated the experienced Laurel in 1949. President Quirino had also the Philippine constabulary, which could bring pressure to bear on the voters; he had the provincial treasurers, who had charge of the election returns; he had appointed members of the Commission on Election; he had local officials; he had means of reaching the remote villages; he had control over the schools. He did not think that the people would be swept off their feet by an ex-mechanic, who shook hands with the barrio folk as though he were running for mayor. President Quirino was a polished speaker and waged as active a campaign as the delicate state of his health permitted. Because of a serious operation, he did not begin his campaign until late in the summer. By conserving his strength he was able to appear in the principal parts of the Philippines. In the northern provinces he spoke in Ilocano, but in other provinces he spoke in English, sometimes using an interpreter. In some localities various pressures were used upon government employees and school children to see that a crowd was assembled. The audiences were respectful but cool. The relative size and enthusiasm of the crowds at Liberal and Nacionalista-Democratic meetings indicated clearly that the tide was running against the Liberals. III Shortly after his nomination in April, 1953, Magsaysay began the most strenuous campaign ever waged by a candidate for president in the Philippines.
17

Ibid., p. 65.

18

Philippines

Free Press, Manila, Oct. 31, 1953, p. 11.

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By plane, by bus, by car, by boat, and on foot he covered nearly every section of the archipelago. At the end of seven months of such campaigning he was still going as strong as ever. The irregular meals and sleeping arrangements required an iron constitution, an excellent digestion, and an even temperament. His genuine liking for people was such that he did not hesitate to go into the barrios and shake hands with the common folk. In previous campaigns the barrios had been neglected. While Magsaysay was not an eloquent speaker and did not strain for oratorical effects, he was a persuasive talker, knew how to conserve his voice, and impressed his listeners with his sincerity, his humor, and his interest in their welfare. He spoke English with a pronounced Philippine accent. With most of his listeners this was an asset. He could also address audiences in at least two of the main dialects, Ilocano and Tagalog. No special preparations were needed in order to collect an audience for one of his appearances. The people wanted to hear and see the new leader and they would travel for miles, and wait hours in the rain or sun or darkness, when it was announced that he would be speaking in the vicinity. Magsaysay gave the poor people in the barrios the idea that they were important in national politics. Liberal party attempts to belittle and ridicule Magsaysay as vulgar and uneducated backfired. When he heard that a prominent Liberal had said that he was "fit only to be a basurero" (garbage collector), he answered at the next political meeting: "Yes, I am only fit to be a basurero, but if you will elect me, my friends, I will play the role of a good, a very efficient basurero. I will clean up all the garbage of graft and corruption that the Liberals have piled up in our government! Just give me a chance and I'll show the Liberals what a good garbage collector I'll turn out to be."'9 Magsaysay's supporters endeavored to win votes for their candidate by building him up as a man of courage, energy, integrity, and action in contrast to President Quirino who was pictured as aging, sick, haughty, tired, and ineffective. They pointed out that under President Quirino unemployment had increased, the deficit in the national budget had become larger, and the government had acquired a reputation for graft and corruption. The Nacionalista platform included among its planks statements on balancing the budget, increasing industrialization as a means of reducing unemployment, effecting land reforms so as to improve the tenant situation, improving educational standards, and securing freedom of action in the field of foreign relations. Magsaysay did not spell out in detail how these objectives would be secured. In a campaign to bring about a change in administration, it is wise for opposition candidates not to be too specific. Magsaysay did, however, place special emphasis upon building artesian wells for barrios, on improving the health services of the government, and on building up friendly relations with the United States government. In answering the claims of President Quirino that his administration had brought many economic improvements, Magsaysay accused the administration of

19

L. 0. Ty, "Day of Reckoning,"

Philippines

Free Press, Manila, Nov. 14, 1953, p. 5.

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favoritism and laxity in collecting taxes and of failure to utilize all the American aid that was available.20 Instead of relying on the regular Nacionalista and Democratic parties to carry on the campaign and making arrangements for safeguarding the vote, a group of active Magsaysay volunteers set up their own organization which included the Magsaysay-for-President Movement (MPM), the Women's Magsaysay-for-President Movement (WMPM), and the Student Magsaysay-forPresident Movement. The leaders of these organizations were recruited from the Veterans organizations, the Jaycees, the Rotary clubs, the Lions, the League of Women Voters, the National Students' Movement for Democracy, and other special groups. The Coordinator of MPM said that the idea for the organization came from the Eisenhower-Nixon clubs which functioned so well in the American presidential election of 1952. Out of some 18,000 barrios in the Philippines, MPM clubs were established in 15,600. Club members checked registration lists, canvassed the voters, supplied information for exclusion proceedings held to revise the lists of voters, educated the voters, arranged for political meetings, organized watchers, couriers, and reserves for safeguarding the casting and counting of the ballots, organized their own system of communications for reporting on the returns, and took other measures to combat fraud and terrorism during the elections.4' MPM carried on all of these operations using only candidates' watchers credentials. Before this election, candidates had supposed that they had to have the naming of election inspectors to protect their vote. MPM showed that an election could be watched without naming the election inspectors. Both parties tried to attract and to avoid offending voters who might be influenced by religious considerations. Over four-fifths of the Filipinos are Roman Catholics, but the Constitution provides for separation of church and state. During the campaign certain religious questions were brought in indirectly. Some members of the Church hierarchy signed a pastoral letter which deplored attempts to use fraud and terrorism to win votes. This letter pointed mainly to the Liberal party. The Quirino administration was also under fire on account of a position taken by Catholic clergy on the question of religious instruction in the public schools. IV The Nacionalista candidate, Ramon Magsaysay, won a resounding victory, receiving over two-thirds of the total vote cast. In Manila he won four-fifths of the votes and in the other cities over seven-tenths. Such an overwhelming vote meant that all elements of the population supported him. He received strong backing from the Catholics, from other religious elements, from the city dwell20 Summaries of his speeches are to be found in Philippines Free Press, Manila Times, Daily Mirror, Daily Record, Evening News, Manila Chronicle, Manila Daily Bulletin, and Philippines Herald. publications of the organizations and articles in Philippines Free 21 Mimeographed Press.

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ers, from the farmers, from the literate and semi-literate, from those living in nipa huts, and from those living in the most expensive houses.22 Magsaysay carried 25 of the 28 cities and 48 of the 52 provinces.23 He received his highest percentage in his home province of Zambales. He also ran extremely well in the adjoining provinces of Bataan and Pampanga. These high votes reflect the influence of local loyalties in Philippine politics. Traditional party influences were shown in the overwhelming vote which he received in the Nacionalista strongholds of Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, and Marinduque, which were carried overwhelmingly by Laurel in 1949. The four provinces which Magsaysay lost were President Quirino's home province of Ilocos Sur and the three adjoining provinces in northern Luzon. In these provinces Magsaysay ran ahead of the Nacionalista percentage obtained in 1949, except in La Union where the difference was slight. The loyalty of the Ilocos region to President Quirino is another illustration of the favorite son influence in Philippine politics. It was striking that Magsaysay carried the other provinces that were once part of the Liberal stronghold in the north. A comparison of the provincial percentages obtained by the Nacionalista candidates in 1949 and 1953 shows that on the average Magsaysay received 20 per cent more of the total votes recorded than did Laurel. The Nacionalista party made its greatest gains in those provinces where there had been charges of election corruption in 1949, in those where there were concentrations of Mohammedans, in Magsaysay's home provinces, and in the most populous provinces of the Visayas. The greatest absolute gain was made in the province of Negros Occidental in the Visayas, where Magsaysay won over 70 per cent of the vote as compared with less than 10 per cent received by Laurel in 1949. Serious charges of election manipulation were made in this province following the 1949 elections. It was alleged that the registration lists in 1949 had been padded by nearly 100,000 names.24This province is the principal sugar-producing area of the Philippines and on election day the trucks of some of the larger sugar plantations were seen transporting persons who were attempting to be "flying voters." Vigilance on the part of the Magsaysay workers, the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), the Philippine Constabulary, the Commission on Elections, and the local officials prevented the repetition of the 1949 tactics of the Liberals.25 A striking feature of the election was the large increase in the Nacionalista vote in the Mindanao provinces containing large numbers of Mohammedans, who in the Philippines are called Moros. In Cotobato and Lanao, which had
22 A scatter diagram of the percentage of the total vote for Magsaysay and the percentage of families living in dwellings of light materials shows a slight negative relationship between these two variables, but the high Magsaysay provinces spread over the whole range. In other words, Magsaysay got a high vote in both prosperous and poor provinces.

23
24 26

See map.

Philippines Free Press, Manila, Vol. 44, pp. 1-3 (Oct. 24, 1953). Gosnell, "Filipinos Hold Free Election" (cited in note 3).

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the largest proportion of Moros, and in the two Misamis provinces there was an increase of over 30 per cent in the Nacionalista vote. There were serious charges of election frauds in Lanao in 1949, and it was claimed that fake voters and false returns swelled the Liberal vote. The number of voters in Lanao was twice the number of literate adults given later by the census. In 1953 Magsaysay's popularity and splits in the local Liberal ranks reduced the Liberal vote while precautions taken by the Nacionalista candidates, non-partisan organizations, and the Commission on Elections prevented extensive frauds. The Commission on Elections attorneys, with representatives of both parties, canvassed the Moro areas in order to forestall efforts to pad the registration lists. Special measures to safeguard the ballot were also taken by the Commission immediately preceding and during the election itself. Magsaysay's speeches in Mindanao were well received and he seemed to attract the Moros as well as other elements of the population. Magsaysay won the election because he inspired faith in his ability to establish a government for the people. His success story helped the Filipinos build up faith in themselves. Here was ode of them, of Malayan stock, who had gained worldwide fame in a short time by reason of his courage, his integrity, his altruism, and his appeal as a fighting leader of the people who was willing to face threats to democracy coming either from the extreme Right or the extreme Left. He met the danger of the Huks by action on some of the grievances of the downtrodden peasants. The Filipinos have demonstrated that in an oriental country confidence in democratic institutions can be established in spite of the many influences pushing toward a dictatorial system either of the Right or the Left. Both fascist and communist trends have been reversed and a change in power has been brought about by the methods of persuasion, fair election administration, and free organization of citizens. While caution should be used in interpreting the elections, it is quite clear that they mark a significant achievement in the progress of democratic government in the Far East. The elections demonstrated that given the right kind of leadership, Far Eastern peoples can be stirred to faith in the ideal-fundamental to democratic government-of government as the instrument of the people. They also showed that volunteers can be organized in these countries to safeguard the election process against fraud and terror. The formidable obstacles to the effective operation of democratic processes in the Far East can be overcome.

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