Riding high on the success of his first term as president, Ferdinand E. Marcos was chosen to be the standard- bearer of the Nacionalista Party. Vice President Fernando Lopez also clinched the administration party’s nomination. The Marcos- Lopez powerhouse ticket would face the Liberal
Party’s Senators Sergio Osmeña Jr. and Genaro Magsaysay. Osmeña, the son and namesake of the late president, had served as governor of Cebu, almost won the vice presidency in 1961 as an independent, and was elected to the Senate four years later. Magsaysay, brother of the late president, had been a se nator since 1959, and though originally a Nacionalista, had accepted the nomination of Osmeña and the Liberals.
The party decision of importing Magsaysay did not sit well with Liberals, including former House Speaker Cornelio Villareal and Senator Ambrosio Padilla, who both led a mass defection from the LP to the Marcos-Lopez camp. Villareal, a Liberal since the party was founded, had earlier announced he would seek the LP’s nomination for the presidency but was rebuffed by the party leadership.
Wracked by internal conflicts and party intramurals, Osmeña lost to Marcos by almost two million votes while Lopez won over Magsaysay by an even larger margin. Marcos would be only the second President to win re-election, and the only one in the Third Republic. The election practically crippled the Liberal Party. Even the bailiwicks of the two Liberal standard-bearers— Cebu and Zambales—voted for Marcos; only LP Senator Gerardo Roxas survived the NP shutout in the Senate (the other LP senator, Ambrosio Padilla, was known as a “Marcos Liberal”); and the short-lived LP House Majority in 1965 was reversed.
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.