Philippine Electoral Almanac May 10 spreads28 Philippine Electoral Almanac May 10 spreads29Up for re-election in 1940, the Nacionalista Party leaders seemed unbeatable at the polls. Meanwhile, the opposition was in disarray. Having been soundly defeated in legislative elections three years prior, some of the most prominent oppositionist leaders like Pedro Abad Santos and Manuel de la Fuente of the Partido Nacional Democrata endorsed both Quezon and Osmeña. The remaining anti- Nacionalista forces, unable to unite the minority forces, revived the Popular Front and fielded Juan Sumulong and Dr. Emilio Javier. Hilario Moncado of the Partido Modernista also ran for president.

A constitutional amendment passed in 1940 established a bicameral legislature composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. In another historic electoral triumph, the voters swept into office an all- Nacionalista Senate, the first and last time that all 24 seats were won by a single party. This was largely due to the introduction of “block voting,” which allowed voters to write the party name on the ballot instead of naming the chosen candidates individually. In the House, 95 out of 98 representatives elected were Nacionalistas.

For the first time, a national electoral authority, the Commission on Elections, was established by a constitutional amendment. Another constitutional amendment also changed the terms of president and vice president from six years without re-election, to four years with the possibility of re- election—a total of eight consecutive years.

Quezon and Osmeña were both re-elected; however, due to constitutional limitations, Quezon could not serve the full four years, as his term started on November 15, 1935, and thus would end on November 15, 1943.

Due to the outbreak of war, the terms of Quezon and Osmeña as president and vice president, respectively, were officially extended starting November 15, 1943, following the passage five days earlier of a U.S. Joint Resolution known as U.S. Public Law 186.

War and the occupation by the Japanese Imperial Forces would lead to an interregnum of five years before liberation brought back democracy to the country.


The Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) has published the Philippine Electoral Almanac, a handy resource on Philippine national elections from 1935 onwards .