Philippine parliamentary election, 1978

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Philippine parliamentary election, 1978
1969 ←
April 7 and 27, 1978 → 1984

165 seats of the Batasang Pambansa
83 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Ferdinand Marcos.JPEG Chiefjusticedavide.jpg
Leader Ferdinand Marcos Hilario Davide, Jr.
Party KBL Pusyon Bisaya
Leader since 1978 1978
Leader's seat President/Prime Minister Region VII
Last election new party new party
Seats won 137 13
Seat change Increase 137 Increase 13
Popular vote 147,885,439[citation needed] 9,495,416
Percentage 71.1 4.6

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Reuben R. Canoy Benigno Aquino, Jr.
Party Mindanao Alliance LABAN
Leader since 1978 1978
Leader's seat Region X Region IV-A
(lost seat)
Last election new party new party
Seats won 1 0
Seat change Increase 1 Steady
Popular vote 6,685,224 21,541,600
Percentage 3.2 10.4

Prime Minister before election


Prime Minister-designate

Ferdinand Marcos

Coat of arms of the Philippines.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Philippines

A general election was held in the Philippines on April 7, 1978 for the election of the 166 (of the 208) regional representatives to the Interim Batasang Pambansa (the nation's first parliament). The elections were participated by the leading opposition party, the Lakas ng Bayan (LABAN) which had twenty-one candidates for the Metro Manila area and the leading candidate was the jailed opposition leader Ninoy Aquino while the regime's party known as the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) which was led by the then First Lady Imelda Marcos. Ninoy was allowed to run by the his fellow party mates in the Liberal Party who boycotted the elections but was not allowed to campaign, so his family campaigned for him. The night before the elections on April 6, 1978, a noise barrage was organized by the supporters of (LABAN) which occurred up to dawn.


The Philippines was under martial law since 1972, thereby the incumbent president Ferdinand Marcos ruled by decree. Prior to this, the Constitution of the Philippines was being drafted by the Constitutional Convention whose delegates were elected in 1970. The Constitutional Convention approved the final draft of the Constitution which consisted of the abolition of the Philippine Congress and replaced with an interim National Assembly to consisted of the President, the Vice-President, the President of the Constitutional Convention and Members of the Senate and House of Representatives in November 1972 and later ratified on January 17, 1973 through so-called "citizens' assemblies". The Constitution were amended twice in July 27–28, 1973 and February 27–28, 1975. The Constitution was amended once again in October 16–17, 1976 which contained the "Amendment No. 6" which changed the name of the interim National Assembly from the "National Assembly" to "Batasang Pambansa" more commonly as the "Batasan".


Lakas ng Bayan[edit]

Main article: Lakas ng Bayan

In 1978, from his prison cell, Aquino was allowed to take part in the elections. Although his friends, former Senators Gerry Roxas and Jovito Salonga, preferred to boycott the elections, Aquino urged his supporters to organize and run 21 candidates in Metro Manila. Thus his political party, dubbed Lakas ng Bayan ("People's Power"), was born. The party's acronym was "LABAN" ("fight" in Tagalog). He was allowed one television interview on Face the Nation (hosted by Ronnie Nathanielsz) and proved to a startled and impressed populace that imprisonment had neither dulled his rapier-like tongue nor dampened his fighting spirit. Foreign correspondents and diplomats asked what would happen to the LABAN ticket. People agreed with him that his party would win overwhelmingly in an honest election. On April 6, 1978, supporters of the Lakas ng Bayan (LABAN), the opposition party headed by former Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. who was still in jail and twenty other candidates contesting the Region IV-A (Metro Manila) seats, came out in protest by asking bystanders and cars to make noise in support the opposition.

Kilusang Bagong Lipunan[edit]

President Marcos created the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (New Society Movement)


e • d Summary of the 7 April 1978 Interim Batasang Pambansa election results
Parties and coalitions Votes % Seats %
KBL 147,885,439 71.1 137 83.0
LABAN 21,541,600 10.4 0 0.0
Pusyon Bisaya 9,495,416 4.6 13 7.9
Bagong Lipunan-Kilusan ng Nagkakaisang Nacionalista, Liberal 7,981,060 3.8 14 8.5
Mindanao Alliance 6,685,224 3.2 1 0.6
Bicol Saro 2,105,599 1.0 0 0.0
Young Philippines 1,471,381 0.7 0 0.0
Concerned Citizens' Aggrupation 1,374,549 0.7 0 0.0
Nacionalista 688,130 0.3 0 0.0
Emancipated Scientists 392,819 0.2 0 0.0
Partido ng Bagong Pilipino 140,365 0.1 0 0.0
Democratic 112,140 0.1 0 0.0
Philippine Labor 94,287 0.0 0 0.0
Confederation of Ilocano Associations 81,594 0.0 0 0.0
Consumers 69,216 0.0 0 0.0
Citizens Union Progress 44,893 0.0 0 0.0
Youth Democratic Movement 40,571 0.0 0 0.0
Sovereign Citizens 18,814 0.0 0 0.0
Partido Sambayanang Pilipino 15,050 0.0 0 0.0
Lapiang Bagong Silang 11,457 0.0 0 0.0
Banyuhay 11,190 0.0 0 0.0
Independent 7,633,851 3.7 0 0.0
Partisan seats 141 85.5
Indirectly elected seats 14 8.5
Appointed seats 10 6.1
Valid votes 207,894,708 100.0 189 100.0
Turnout 18,356,849 85.5
Registered voters 21,464,213 100.0
Source: Teehankee, Julio. "Electoral Politics in the Philippines" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-12-11. 

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Philippine Commission on Elections — Records and Statistics Division
  • Philippine House of Representatives Congressional Library
  • Pobre, Cesar P. Philippine Legislature 100 Years. ISBN 971-92245-0-9. 

External links[edit]