Alternative Parties in the Philippines: Opposition Coalitions

The period traversing the years 1907 to 1941 featured our first experience of nationwide politics, with the country having 13 elections in all. Although conducted under auspices of American administration, it is without doubt that this period began forming the Filipino statesmen (or politicians for that matter) whose valuable service our nation still remembers until today. However, with the many political parties these people brought forth during the period, only the Nacionalista Party dominated the scene. Also, only the Nacionalista Party survived from this era and is continuing to operate until today. What were almost neglected in the mainstream political history of our country during this period were the political parties formed in opposition to the gargantuan Nacionalista, but failed to survive to see America grant independence to her only colony in Asia. With this in the fore, introducing these parties, their formation, their members, platforms, successes, failures and their eventual dissolutions are being aimed in this series.


Hilario Moncado (Photo courtesy of
Opposition Coalitions (1938, 1941)

   With the Nacionalista Party dominating the newly established National Assembly by winning 83% of the seats in 1935, the remaining opposition parties formed a coalition that is to be known as the Popular Front. Although, this was not the first coalition in Philippine electoral history. It was composed mainly of left-wing parties including the Sakdalista Party, the Socialist Party, and the Modernist Party of the mystical Hilario Moncado. It also integrated remnants of the disbanded Democrata Party, such as Juan Sumulong. However, with its poor chances before the 1938 elections, the Popular Front fused with yet another conglomeration of opposition parties, the Allied Minorities. The aim of the Allied Minorities was to unite under a common program and form a challenge to the reunified Nacionalista Party. However, being a loose alliance composed of a wide range of political parties, the Allied Minorities did not succeed to stop Nacionalista dominance. The Nacionalistas won all 98 seats in the National Assembly. The failure of the Allied Minorities in the 1938 election caused its eventual downfall, with the Popular Front leaving the coalition.

Juan Sumulong (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
   In 1941, only the Popular Front fielded any real opposition to the re-election bids of President Quezon and Vice President OsmeƱa. Juan Sumulong, the so-called "Brains of the Opposition," was their presidential candidate, and Dr. Emilio Javier their vice presidential candidate. While both Quezon and Osmena emerging with more handsome victories by winning each and every province nationwide, Sumulong garnered 18.22% out of some 1.6 million votes. Javier polled 8%. Although he did not win any of the provinces, Sumulong’s performance of 18.22% was better than that of Aguinaldo (17.54%) or Aglipay (14.47%) in 1935.


This ends the Alternative Parties series. It is apparent that this series is not the most comprehensive roster of alternative parties from 1907 to 1941, as evidenced by the absence of much smaller and less known parties like the Modernist Party of Hilario Moncado, Socialist Party of Pedro Abad Santos, Young Philippines Party of Wenceslao Vinzons, among others. Hopefully, though, this series would be of help to all who would read. See the past articles of the series:

Part 1: Partido Progresista
Part 2: Partido Democrata
Part 3: Enter the Republican
Part 4: Labor Party
Part 5: Partido Komunista
Part 6: National Socialist
Part 7: Sakdalista Party


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Alternative Parties in the Philippines: Opposition Coalitions Alternative Parties in the Philippines: Opposition Coalitions Reviewed by Al Raposas on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Rating: 5

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