In 1944, Sergio Osmeña returned to the Philippines, president of a country devastated by war and on the verge of independence. He had assumed the office upon the death of Quezon on August 1, 1944, and in 1946 decided to run for the presidency. Osmeña was unperturbed by the challenge posed by erstwhile protégé Senate President Manuel Roxas, who had broken away from the monolithic Nacionalista Party (NP) and founded its Liberal Wing, later the Liberal Party (LP).
The Cebuano politician subscribed to the traditional outlook of his generation, who found it distasteful to solicit the people for votes. Roxas, on the other hand, launched what would be remembered as the first “modern” campaign, with him going house to house. Hilario Moncado of the Partido Modernista also joined the fray, but fared poorly. In the end, Roxas, the youngest of the country’s three preeminent Commonwealth leaders, prevailed over Osmeña by almost 200,000 votes. Osmeña graciously accepted defeat and was the only outgoing president to attend his successor’s inauguration until the fifth Republic. The Senate was equally divided, with both the NP and the NP (Liberal Wing) winning eight seats each.
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.