Carlos P. Garcia succeeded to the presidency on March 18, 1957, following the untimely death of President Magsaysay in a plane crash. Only a few months before Magsaysay’s expected re-election, Garcia had secured the NP’s nomination for the presidency with Speaker Jose B. Laurel Jr, as his running mate—but not everyone was convinced the career politician from Bohol was the right man for the job. Thus, two other factions emerged from the NP. Senator Claro M. Recto bolted the NP to run for president under the Nationalist Citizens’ Party and picked Lorenzo Tañada as his running mate. Meanwhile, other Magsaysay supporters established the Progressive Party of the Philippines and endorsed Manuel Manahan for the presidency, in tandem with Vicente Araneta. The Liberal Party, for its part, fielded former Speaker Jose yulo for president and Rep. Diosdado Macapagal for vice president.
This would be the second time Garcia and yulo would face each other in an electoral contest. In a repeat of their 1953 encounter, Garcia trounced his main opponent Yulo, bested Recto and Manahan, and won the presidency in his own right. Laurel, however, was defeated by Macapagal. The Senate and the House remained solidly Nacionalista. This also marked the first national victory of a “showbiz candidate,” with the election of matinee idol Rogelio de la Rosa.
The 1957 elections were unprecedented in three ways: it was the first time that there were four serious contenders for the presidency; the first time that the elected president and vice president did not come from the same political party; and the first time the president was elected by a plurality instead of a majority of votes.
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.