Cipriano Primicias Sr.

  (Redirected from Cipriano P. Primicias, Sr.)

Cipriano Purugganan Primicias Sr. (September 14, 1901 – September 20, 1965) was a Filipino politician, who was best known for his service as a Senator of the Philippines. He was born in 1901 at Alcala, in the northern Philippine province of Pangasinan to Javier Crescini Primicias and Cristeta Purugganan.

Cipriano P. Primicias Sr.
Sen Primicias.jpg
Senator of the Philippines
In office
December 30, 1951 – December 30, 1963
Majority leader of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
1953 – December 30, 1963
PresidentRamon Magsaysay
Carlos P. Garcia
Diosdado Macapagal
Preceded byTomás L. Cabili
Succeeded byJosé J. Roy
Member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines from Pangasinan's 4th District
In office
Preceded byEusebio V. Sison
Succeeded byNicomedes T. Rupisan
In office
December 30, 1941[fn 1] – December 30, 1949
Preceded byNicomedes T. Rupisan
Succeeded byAmadeo J. Perez
Personal details
Cipriano Purugganan Primicias Sr.

(1901-09-14)September 14, 1901
Alcala, Pangasinan, Philippine Islands
DiedSeptember 25, 1965(1965-09-25) (aged 64)
Quezon City, Philippines
Political partyNacionalista Party
Spouse(s)Nieves Ocampo Benito

Education and early careerEdit

He completed his elementary education with highest honors, his high school courses with second-highest honors and passed the government first grade civil service tests when he was still in high school in 1919. He enrolled in the National Law College and at the same time worked as a clerk in the Bureau of Commerce in 1919 where he rose to the rank of Chief, Commercial Section. He finished his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1923 with highest honors and passed the bar examinations in the top five that same year.[1]

In 1924, he quit his post at the Bureau of Commerce and began his law practice as an assistant attorney in the law office of then-Senator Alejo R. Mabanag. By 1936 he was the President of the Pangasinan Bar Association, a post he held till 1945.

Political careerEdit

House of RepresentativesEdit

A ranking member of the Nacionalista Party (NP), Primicias entered politics in 1934 when he was elected to the Philippine House of Representatives from the fourth district of Pangasinan. He represented his district for three consecutive terms beginning in 1934, 1941 and 1946.[2] Being in the then-minority party at the time, Primicias was an oppositionist and fiscalizer in the House of Representatives.

Bell Trade Act of 1946Edit

The old Philippine Senate, 1951: Senator Primicias at extreme left, debates Senator Quintín Paredes at extreme right. In the middle are Senators Justiniano Montano, Mariano Jesús Cuenco, Enrique B. Magalona, and Francisco Delgado. In the foreground is Senator Edmundo Cea.
At Malacañang Palace, 1955. Clockwise, from top left: Senator Edmundo Cea, Former President José P. Laurel Sr., Senator Primicias, Senate President Eulogio A. Rodriguez Sr., President Ramon F. Magsaysay, & House Speaker José B. Laurel Jr.
On the campaign trail, 1957: During a lull in both their reelection campaigns, Senator Primicias shares a light moment with his partymate and close friend, Senator Jose Locsin, to whom he conceded the last seat in the Senate though he was leading in the still-ongoing count. Primicias eventually won the seat.[3]

During his last term in the House, Primicias was one of nine Congressmen and three Senators[4] who opposed the ratification of the United States' Bell Trade Act of 1946 (also called the Philippine Trade Act of 1946) mostly because it required amending the Philippine Constitution to give American citizens and corporations equal access with Filipinos to the Philippines' natural resources. In addition the law also gave U.S. citizens the right to import goods without paying import duties and fixed the value of the Philippine peso to the U.S. dollar. Primicias and other opponents of the Bell Trade Act considered the measure an inexcusable surrender of Philippine sovereignty.[5]

Because ratification of the Bell Trade Act required a two-thirds vote of the House and the Senate, Primicias - with the eight other Congressmen and the three Senators - were unseated from the Philippine Congress on spurious charges while the ratification process was underway in order to ensure its passage. Upon appeal to the Philippine Supreme Court all twelve legislators were reinstated, but by that time their temporary ejection had served its purpose and the Bell Trade Act had already been ratified.[5][6]

During his last term in the House (1946–1949), Primicias served as the Minority Floor Leader. From 1946 till 1964 he was the Nacionalista Party Vice-President.


In the 1951 Philippine midterm elections, Primicias was elected in an 8-0 shut-out by the Nacionalista Party to his first term as a Senator.

While in the Philippine Senate he became chairman of the following Committees: Finance (1952–1953), Labor (1952–1953), Public Works (1953), Justice (1958–1960), Appointments (1958–1960) and the powerful Committee on Rules (1953–1963) as well as a member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (1954–1963).[7]

He was reelected to the Senate for a second term in 1957. From 1953 till 1963 Senator Primicias was the Senate Majority Floor Leader.

"I have said that Senator Primicias has outstanding achievements. There is no doubt whatsoever as to his capacity to hold the highest position in the land within the reach or within the gift of the Filipino people."

— Carlos P. Garcia, then-Philippine President [8]

"To the Majority Floor Leader, the "Parliamentarian par excellence" goes the plaudit not only of the Presiding Officer and of all the Members of the Senate but all those who have watched the deliberations of this chamber."

— Ferdinand E. Marcos, then-Senate President, and later Philippine President [8]

"The Free Press believes that Floor leader Cipriano P. Primicias rates special mention as the Fiscalizer of The Year. There is little doubt that he towers head and shoulders above the opposition crowd in the fight to preserve the independence of Congress and the two-party system."

— Philippines Free Press Magazine, 1962 [8]

Other positionsEdit

Senator Primicias was also the former Dean of the College of Law in Orient College, President of the Pindangan Agricultural Company and the Lingayen Gulf Fishing Company and was a member of the Knights of Columbus.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1930, Primicias married Miss Pangasinan Nieves Ocampo Benito, with whom he had nine children: Cipriano Jr. (Tito) – himself a former Congressman and Governor of Pangasinan; Ma. Corazon (Marietta); Ricardo; Juan Augusto; Ramon; Edmundo; Carlos; Perla; and Baby Nieves.

An ardent Hispanist, Primicias spoke fluent Spanish and regularly debated on the Senate floor in that language. He also spoke English, Filipino, Ilocano, and Pangansinense with equal facility.

He died a week after his 64th birthday in Quezon City, Philippines, on September 20, 1965.

Primicias Sr.'s bust-Monument, Alcala, Pangasinan.


  1. ^ Term cut short when the Japanese invaded the Philippines between late 1941 and early 1942.


  1. ^ a b Official Website of the Senate of the Philippines: Former Senators: Cipriano Primicias (HTML) Accessed April 13, 2007.
  2. ^ Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia: Legislative Districts of Pangasinan - 4th District. (HTML) Accessed August 1, 2007.
  3. ^ Sison, Corazon N. 2001. Senator Cipriano P. Primicias: Vignettes and Anecdotes on His Life and Times, Philippines: C.P.Primicias Memorial Foundation, Inc., 13.
  4. ^ aside from Primicias, the Congressmen were: Felixberto Serrano of Batangas, Alejo Santos of Bulacan, Luis Taruc, Amado Yuson, and Jesus Lava of Pampanga, Constancio Padilla and Jose Cando of Nueva Ecija, and Alejandro Simpauco of Tarlac; the three senators were Alejo Mabanag, Jose Vera, and Ramon Diokno.
  5. ^ a b Seekins, Donald M. (1991), "Economic Relations with the United States", in Dolan, Ronald E. (ed.), Philippines: A Country Study, Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, retrieved 2008-01-06
  6. ^ Sison, Corazon N. 2001. Senator Cipriano P. Primicias: Vignettes and Anecdotes on His Life and Times, Philippines: C.P.Primicias Memorial Foundation, Inc., 47-48.
  7. ^ a b c Sison, Corazon N. 2001. Senator Cipriano P. Primicias: Vignettes and Anecdotes on His Life and Times, Philippines: C.P.Primicias Memorial Foundation, Inc., 16.
  8. ^ a b c Sison, Corazon N. 2001. Senator Cipriano P. Primicias: Vignettes and Anecdotes on His Life and Times, Philippines: C.P.Primicias Memorial Foundation, Inc., 119.

External linksEdit

House of Representatives of the Philippines
Preceded by
Eusebio V. Sison
Representative, 4th District of Pangasinan
Succeeded by
Nicomedes T. Rupisan
Preceded by
Nicomedes T. Rupisan
Representative, 4th District of Pangasinan
Succeeded by
Amadeo J. Perez
Political offices
Preceded by
Tomás L. Cabili
Senate Majority Floor Leader
Succeeded by
José J. Roy