At this juncture, CD groups particularly the CSM were almost obliterated and the remnants formed several strands in the political arena evolving separately although in tandem principally in the two large islands Mindanao and Luzon.While overseas, the erstwhile CSM leader Raul Manglapus, organized the Movement for Free Philippines (MFP) to focus on freeing the country from the clutches of the dictatorship an almost impossible task given the American Government’s bias and preference toward the Marcose’s.
For the ragtag CDs left behind in the south, we bided our time - but the fires of passion for change burned within. It didn’t take long for its embers to glow. In the late 70s and early 80s, those of us coming from Cagayan de Oro and Davao City conspired to form what was then known as the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP). We began the arduous task of creating a real dues-paying, ideology-based political party whose members must undergo a 2 to 3 day Basic Membership Seminar (BMS). While in the north, principally in Manila other CD groups started their own initiatives. It is a measure of the martial rules repressive efficacy that these enterprises remained fragmented and not lead by a coherent national leadership.
One of these major threads of the CD progressed into a network that was to give birth in the future to a dominant political party right after the transitory party-less Cory Aquino regime - the Lakas-NUCD-CMDP. 1983 saw the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr. This triggered a political convulsion that impelled the Southern Philippine-based PDP to accelerate its expansion and merged with the fallen hero’s party, Lakas Ng Bayan (LABAN),centeredprincipally in Metro-Manila; and with the other CD strands- eventually catapulted Ninoy’s wife, Cory to power in the 1986 EDSA People’s Power Revolution.
The leadership of the PDP-LABAN were conscripted into the government of Cory and most of us landed in cabinet unprepared. (We will not discuss in detail the subsequent administrations leading to the present government of President Pnoy. Neither will we contemplation it. We will leave this to the historians and political analysts for them to pass judgment. Suffice it to say that this is a chronicle of events and circumstances of several threads of the development of CD in the Philippines one strand of which led directly to the establishment of the Centrist Democratic Party (CDP), Ang Partido ng Tunay na Demokrasya.