Mr. Cruz has extensive experience in commercial & corporate litigation, tax litigation, insolvency and corporate rehabilitation proceedings, regulatory enforcement cases, estate settlement, election cases and the prosecution and defense of white-collar crimes. He also engages in public policy litigation. He previously headed our firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department (2013-2019).
With a successful career in litigation spanning decades, Mr. Cruz represents a wide range of clients, including some of the country’s leading companies and conglomerates as well as high net-worth individuals. He also represents industry-wide organizations involved in agriculture, aviation, energy and shipping in strategic matters that have a substantial impact on their operations.
Mr. Cruz led a team that won a rare unanimous decision from the Supreme Court (En Banc) in a landmark environmental litigation impacting the local banana industry. He has also successfully obtained key regulatory approvals for the biggest cable TV transaction in the country. Recently, he won a crucial injunctive relief from the Supreme Court (En Banc) for the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and leading universities against the enforcement of issuances by the Energy Regulatory Commission. As part of his pro bono advocacies, he earned peer recognition for his oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Anti-Cybercrime Law, acting as lead counsel for the Philippine Bar Association
Mr. Cruz is consistently recognized as one of the country’s top litigators. The Legal 500 cites Mr. Cruz as a leading individual in dispute resolution practice quoting a client testimonial mentioning that Mr. Cruz “shows professionalism” with “composure and grace even under fire [that] gives [the] client the confidence that their case is always a priority.” AsiaLaw Client Service Excellence 2020 cited client reviews that noted his meticulous case preparation and ability to explain the substance and process of the litigation resulting in legal representation that “goes beyond what is paid for.”
Mr. Cruz previously served as Undersecretary of the Department of National Defense (2004-2006), chaired meetings of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and led negotiations for complicated bilateral and multilateral treaties and executive agreements. He gained extensive experience in constitutional and administrative law, government contracts and public policy development while serving as Undersecretary in the Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel (2001-2004), where he rendered legal advice on policy issues, drafted key presidential issuances, coordinated public policy litigation and international arbitration, and vetted appointments to the Judiciary.
Mr. Cruz earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1992. Graduating among the top ten of his class, he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Philippine Law Journal, and both the varsity debating and basketball teams. Mr. Cruz also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (cum laude) from the same university in 1987. He was a recipient of the British Chevening Scholarship from the UK Embassy and the British Council, an award he declined for him to continue his public service in 2004.
He was a Senior Fellow of the Daniel K. Inouye - Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies and a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Mr. Cruz was also law lecturer on Torts & Damages. He also authored papers and delivers lectures on a variety of legal, security and strategic issues. He served as a member of the Board of Visitors of the Philippine Military Academy (2005) and as a member of the Board of Advisers of the Philippine Navy. He was a national officer of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and was President (2015-2016 Term) of the Philippine Bar Association, the oldest voluntary national organization of lawyers in the country.