Mr. Cruz successfully led the Law Firm in corporate disputes which drew landmark Supreme Court decisions, such as the American Standard/Saniwares case, Chemical Industries (Chemphil) shareholders contests, and the Associated Bank/Leonardo Ty corporate struggles.
His more recent representations include the privatization by Japan’s Berg & Co. of the Philippine government’s Kobe properties; international arbitration dispute for treaty protection of foreign investment involving Malaysia Metroplex in a local casino and hotel project; and major water projects disputes of national import in the Philippines.
He has also served as director in the Boards of major Philippine companies, including Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Philippine Airlines, Petron Corporation, Philippine Bank of Commerce, Philippine National Bank, Remittance Center of Los Angeles, Associated Bank, Banco Filipino, Chemphil, Ortigas & Co., Ltd. and, recently, was elected as Chairman of the Hawaiian Airlines’ Airbridge, Inc., and as Board Member of the IP&E Isla Petroleum (Shell) of Guam and of Isla Petroleum & Gas Corporation (Shell LPG) of the Philippines.
In 1986, following the EDSA revolution, he served as legal adviser to then Vice President and Prime Minister Salvador H. Laurel and briefly acted as Deputy Prime Minister specially assigned to Cabinet meetings. In that capacity, he became Chairman of the Working Committee composed of then Deputy Justice Minister, (later Chief Justice) Reynato Puno, Solicitor (later Justice) Minerva Reyes and Secretary Fulgencio Factoran, Jr., as members), which drafted the “Freedom Constitution”. This Constitution governed the Philippines from March, 1986 until the 1987 Constitution’s adoption in February 1987.
Mr. Cruz obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree magna cum laude from San Beda College and was the valedictorian of the graduating class. He obtained his Master of Laws degree in 1964 from the University of Michigan Law School where he finished with an outstanding academic record, for which he was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship for International Legal Studies at the University of California Law School at Berkeley. He was also a recipient of the US Fulbright-Hays Scholarship and the Dewitt Fellowship. Thereafter, he completed Business Leadership and Modern Managers courses at the Ateneo de Manila University.
At age 20, he obtained first place with a grade of 90.95% over a field of 4,395 candidates, the youngest bar topnotcher in Philippine history.
Law Professorial Positions & Legal Publications:
Mr. Cruz taught Law at San Beda College from 1962 to 1974. From 1981 to 1984, he was engaged as lecturer at the University of the Philippines Law Center and a Professor for “International Business Transactions” at the UP College of Law.
He is the author of a number of lead articles in legal journals and publications: “Comparative Study of the Philippines and the United States Law on Citizenship by Birth” (San Beda Law Journal, Vol. VII, December 1965); “Unfolding Events in the Retail Trade Nationalization Law” (San Beda Law Journal, Vol. X, April 1968); “In Search of the Filipino Lawyer’s New Code of Ethics” (Law Journal of the Integrated Bar, 1978, Vol. 6, Nov. 4) and “Legal Ethics” (1978 Proceedings of the Institute of Trial Techniques, University of the Philippines); “Asean Legal Systems” published in collaboration with the Asean Law Association in 1985 by Butterworth’s of Singapore; “Corporate Insolvency: The Philippine Experience,” (Singapore Conference on International Business Law, 1989); “Citizens’ Legal Aid Society of the Philippines (CLASP): Helping to Rebuild the Justice System of the Philippines” (Manila Bulletin, June 14, 1993); “The Principle of Check and Balance as a Means to Strengthen the People’s Faith in our Courts of Law” (Manila Bulletin, July 16, 1993); “Constitutional Dysfunctions & the Rule of Law” (Today, April 18, 2002; The Philippine Star, April 20, 2002 & The San Beda Law Journal, February 2003); “A Case of Deep Selection for the Philippine Supreme Court” (Malaya, October 4, 2002); “A Man’s Reach” (Philippine Star, January 23, 2003); “Simply Holding Elections Do Not a Democracy Make” (San Beda Law Journal, March 2005); “Foreign Direct Investments in the Philippines” (Asean Law Journal, 2008).
Professional Membership & Affiliations:
Mr. Cruz is the President of the Asean Law Association (ALA) of the Philippines and an established leader of the regional ALA, having once served as its Secretary General. He is in the Board of Governors of the Citizens Legal Aid Society of the Philippines (CLASP), where he was President from 1995 to 2001.
In 1999, Mr. Cruz became the first Filipino invited to membership in the prestigious American Law Institute. In 2012, he was invited to Honorary Membership in the China Law Society’s prestigious China/Asean Legal Cooperation Council.
He also served as President of the Legal Management Council of the Philippines, and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Rizal Chapter, and as Vice President and Governor of the IBP for Southern Luzon in 1979.