Elections in the country have been mostly dominated by two political parties, the Nacionalista and the Liberal. But there was no ideological difference between the two, so invariably we have political personalities jumping from one to the other. There were attempts over the decades to alter this environment always ending in failure. One such attempt was that of the Progressive Party of the Philippines, composed of the heirs of the popular President Ramon Magsaysay. It was reconstituted in 1965 as the Party for Philippine Progress (PPP) under Raul Manglapus as its standard bearer. CD was introduced as its guiding ideology. The PPP was meant to be the third Political Force in Philippine politics, an alternative to the Nacionalista (NP) and Liberal (LP) Parties, faces of the same oligarchic coin.
In 1965, Manglapus in a 3-way presidential fight was trounced by Marcos of NP and Macapagal of the LP who came in second. But the young and idealistic volunteers of this third force understood then and decided that their defeat was not meant to be the last attempt at creating an alternative political force. After this political debacle and towards the end of the decade, they were recruited by Raul Manglapus into the CSM. In Davao City Rey Teves and Lito Lorenzana were the early adherents, while Nene Pimentel, Mordino Cua, Berchman Abejuela and Vic Callejesan were among the original members in Cagayan de Oro. In 1972, CSM led a coalition of sectors, political movements, labour and various youth factions sympathetic to CD for the purpose of forming a third force political party. This was not to be. Marcos declared martial law and the CD-based political party was still-born. The CSM leadership went into exile, some were imprisoned, others were killed and those in Davao were emasculated. Under martial rule, CD in the Philippines went into hibernation.