Progressive Party (Philippines)

The Progressive Party of the Philippines (PPP), also known as the Party for Philippine Progress, was a reformist political party that existed in the late 1950s and the 1960s. It is considered to be the earliest Filipino form of a genuine alternative party to the then-dominant political pair of the Nacionalista Party and the Liberal Party. The party ceased to exist by 1969.

Progressive Party of the Philippines
Political positionCentre-left



The party was founded in 1957 by Manuel Manahan and Raul Manglapus, both of whom had served as key members of the administration of President Ramon Magsaysay before his untimely death earlier that year. The formation came as a result of the dissatisfaction of members of the Nacionalista Party over the "cold treatment" given to them by allies of newly installed President Carlos P. Garcia.[1]

In the 1957 general election held later that year, Manahan ran as the standard-bearer of the new party while Vicente Araneta served as his running mate. The party also fielded a complete slate of eight senatorial candidates, among them being Manglapus.

Manahan launched a campaign similar to that of the deceased but still popular Magsaysay, thus allowing him to become popular with the masses and pose a credible threat to President Garcia and Jose Yulo of the Liberal Party.[1] In the end, Manahan only ranked third behind President Garcia, managing to acquire 20.90 percent of the vote. Araneta, on the other hand, lost to Diosdado Macapagal of the Liberal Party, garnering 7.97 percent of the vote.[2] None of the senatorial candidates in the party won seats in the Senate.

In the 1959 midterm election, the party allied itself with defectors of the Liberal Party and the Nacionalista Party to form the Grand Alliance.[3] During the campaign, the Grand Alliance highlighted the graft and corruption taking place under the Garcia administration. Eventually, the Alliance was successful in diminishing the Senate majority of the Nacionalista Party.[4]


In 1961, the Progressive party, under the Grand Alliance, joined forces with the Liberal Party in order to prevent the re-election of President Garcia.[3] Together, the united parties supported Vice-President Macapagal of the Liberal Party as its candidate for the 1961 presidential election and Emmanuel Pelaez of the Progressive Party as his running mate.[5] Progressives Manglapus and Manahan also ran as guest senatorial candidates of the Liberal Party, with both of them managing to win seats in the Senate.

By 1965, members of the Grand Alliance separated themselves from the Liberal Party due to their dissatisfaction with the Macapagal administration for not fulfilling their expectations.[3] Soon, the Progressive Party was renamed as the Party for Philippine Progress. It fielded Manglapus as its presidential candidate for the general election held later that year, and Manahan ran as its vice-presidential candidate. The rejuvenated party also fielded its own senatorial slate, though it was incomplete.

Widely known as the Third Force, the Party for Philippine Progress was seen as a genuine alternative to President Macapagal and Senator Ferdinand Marcos of the Nacionalista Party. Manglapus, in particular, showed surprising strength in the larger cities and the young voters.[6] But unlike the 1957 election in which Manahan was seen as a viable contender, Manglapus was not seen as having a good chance of winning the election.[7] In the end, Manglapus lost to Marcos with 5.17 percent of the vote, while Manahan lost to Fernando Lopez, the running mate of Marcos, with 3.40 percent of the vote.[2]

The party continued to exist until it quietly disbanded in 1969.[8]



The following were members of the Progressive Party who ran as candidates in the national elections. Those highlighted in bold signify those who were able to win the position they were running for.

Year President Vice President Senators
1957 Manuel Manahan Vicente Araneta Eleuterio Adevoso
Jaime Ferrer
Josefa Gonzales-Estrada
Jose M. Hernandez
Raul Manglapus
Fulvio Pelaez
Rodrigo Perez Jr.
Norberto Romualdez Jr.
1959[note 1] None[note 2] None[note 3] Manuel Manahan
Raul Manglapus
1961[note 4] None[note 5] Emmanuel Pelaez Manuel Manahan
Raul Manglapus
1965[note 6] Raul Manglapus Manuel Manahan Vicente Araneta
Jose Feria
Benjamin Gaston
Dionisio Ojeda
  1. ^ As the Grand Alliance
  2. ^ No presidential election was held this year.
  3. ^ No vice-presidential election was held this year.
  4. ^ As the Grand Alliance and as guest members of the Liberal Party
  5. ^ The Progressives endorsed Diosdado Macapagal of the Liberal Party.
  6. ^ As the Party for Philippine Progress


Electoral performanceEdit


Election Candidate Number of votes for Progressives Share of votes Outcome of election
1957 Manuel Manahan 1,049,420 20.9% Lost
1961 Endorsed Diosdado Macapagal who won
1965 Raul Manglapus 384,564 5.2% Lost

Vice presidentEdit

Election Candidate Number of votes for Progressives Share of votes Outcome of election
1957 Vicente Araneta 1,375,090 8.0% Lost
1961 Nominated Emmanuel Pelaez who won
1965 Manuel Manahan 247,426 3.4% Lost


Election Number of votes for Progressives Share of votes Seats won Seats after Outcome of election
1957 3,393,935 12.1% 0 0 Lost
1959 3,163,609 9.5% 0 0 Lost
1961 6,577,698 16.6% 2 2 Lost
1963 0 2 Did not participate
1965 1,128,675 2.3% 0 2 Lost

House of RepresentativesEdit

Election Number of votes for Progressives Share of votes Seats Outcome of election
1957 62,968 1.3% 0 Lost
1961 Did not participate
1965 41,983 0.6% 0 Lost
1969 5,031 0.0% 0 Lost


Despite the decline of the party, it had considerable influence in current Philippine politics. For instance, the Lakas Kampi CMD, an active center-right political party in the country, considers the Progressive Party as its predecessor, largely because Manglapus was one of the earliest members of Lakas in the 1990s.[11]

Elements of progressive political philosophy are also believed to have been passed on to later politicians no matter what part of the political spectrum they may belong to, such as former senator Raul Roco.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Filipino idol is "alive" again". Sydney Morning Herald. 1957-11-03. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  2. ^ a b "Results of the Past Presidential & Vice-Presidential Elections". The Philippine Presidency Project. Archived from the original on 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  3. ^ a b c Tubangui, Helen R., Bauzon, Leslie E., Foronda, Marcelino Jr. A., Ausejo, Luz U. The Filipino Nation: A Concise History of the Philippines. Grolier International, 1982.
  4. ^ Agoncillo, Teodoro A. History of the Filipino People, 8th ed.. Garotech Publishing, 1990.
  5. ^ Wurfel, David. The Philippine Elections: Support for Democracy Asian Survey, 2(3), 25-37. May 1962.
  6. ^ "Philippine Presidential Election Nears Climax; Result is Uncertain". The Morning Press. 1965-11-08. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  7. ^ "Vote in Philippines". St. Joseph News-Press. 1965-11-08. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  8. ^ Nohlen, Dieter, Grotz, Florian, Hartmann, Christof. Elections in Asia and the Pacific: South East Asia, East Asia, and the South Pacific. Oxford University Press, 2001.
  9. ^ "Resume of Senator Gordon". Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  10. ^ Tuazon, Bobby (2002-07-28). "Ople: Martial Law Defender, Foreign Affairs Chief". Bulatlat. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  11. ^ "Our Party". Lakas Kampi Christian Muslim Democrats. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
  12. ^ Greenberg, Andy (2006). "Raul S. Roco, 63, Filipino Leader and Voice for Education". Penn Law Journal. University of Pennsylvania Law School. 41 (1). Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2011-09-06.