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The President is elected at the General Assembly and holds office upon his election until the election of his successor at the next General Assembly.

The President acts as Chairman at all sessions of the Assembly and the Council. As the chief executive, he exercises general supervision over all ALA activities and ensures that the resolutions of the Assembly or the Council are implemented. He also performs such other duties and functions as the Council and the Assembly may determine or delegate.

Atty. Avelino V. Cruz

The Honourable Atty. Avelino V. Cruz was elected President of the ASEAN Law Association (ALA) on 28 February 2015 at the 12th General Assembly held in Manila, Philippines.

Professional and Public Service Affiliations

Mr. Cruz is Founding Partner of the Philippines’ prestigious Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALAW). 

He is the first former ALA Secretary General to be elevated to President. At the time of his election, he was Chairman of the ALA Philippine National Committee and President of ALA Philippines, and was an established leader of the ALA Governing Council for many years.  Mr. Cruz was Organizing Committee Chairman of the historic 12th Region-wide ALA General Assembly held in Manila and Boracay on February 25 to March 3, 2015. He was ASEAN delegate at CAFTA 2012 for the Dialogue of the China-ASEAN Free Trade (CAFTA) at Hainan, China where he was awarded Honorary Membership in the China Law Society’s China/ASEAN Legal Cooperation Council. 

In 1999, Mr. Cruz became the first Filipino invited to membership in the prestigious American Law Institute. He also served as President of the Legal Management Council of the Philippines, President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Rizal Chapter, Governor of the IBP for Southern Luzon and was President of the Citizen’s Legal Aid Society of the Philippines (CLASP) from 1995 to 2001.

In 1986, following the EDSA revolution, he briefly acted as Deputy Prime Minister to the late Philippine Vice President & Prime Minister Salvador Laurel. In that capacity, he became Chairman of the Working Committee composed of then Deputy Justice Minister, (later Chief Justice) Reynato Puno, and Solicitor (later Justice) Minerva Reyes, as members, which drafted the “Freedom Constitution”. This Constitution governed the Philippines from March, 1986 until the 1987 Constitution’s adoption in February of that year. In subsequent years, he also became Chief Counsel of the Nacionalista Party and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino Party, and in 2004, led the legal team that represented Presidential candidate FPJ in the controversial Congressional Canvass hearings.

Education/ Academic Attainments and Publications
Mr. Cruz obtained his Bachelors Degree (Ll.B.) magna cum laude and valedictorian from San Beda College of Law. He obtained his Master of Laws (Ll.M.) 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. Mr. Cruz was recipient of the US Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship and the Dewitt Fellowship. He completed Business Leadership and Modern Managers courses at the Ateneo de Manila University.

In the 1961 Philippine Bar Exams, 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.

He is the author of a number of lead articles in legal journals and publications, among them  “Foreign Direct Investments in the Philippines” published in the ASEAN Law Journal in 2008. In 1985 Mr. Cruz, as ALA Secretary General, initiated publication of the book “ASEAN Legal Systems” published by Butterworth’s of Singapore in collaboration with the ASEAN Law Association in 1985.

Awards and Citations
Mr. Cruz was described by Chambers Asia Pacific 2012 as a leading Filipino lawyer in the fields of Corporate/M&A and Dispute Resolution and as (1) a “highly regarded name in the market who offers many years of experience. He has a broad practice that spans corporate finance, projects and real estate” and (2) a “prominent lawyer with a long-standing reputation."

In 2008, Mr. Cruz was cited in Chambers Asia, as follows: “Renowned for corporate experience, founding partner Avelino Cruz is described as ‘top of the league.’” Referring to successful privatization of Philippine Kobe Japan properties and key roles in the Philippine leading developer Ortigas & Co. restructuring, it also noted that “the vastly experienced Avelino Cruz is one of the country’s leading real estate lawyers. He has played a key role in the Firm’s recent major real estate deals and clients commend his work as ‘top-drawer.’” 

In 2008 he was voted the Philippines’ “Most Outstanding Legal Practitioner” at the 19th National Consumers Awards of the Consumers Union of the Philippines.

Today, Mr Cruz is considered a senior statesman by Chambers Asia-Pacific, which lauded his “impressive reputation for handling complex corporate transactions”. He is a well-respected practitioner and advisor on mergers & acquisition transaction sand real estate disputes.

Professional Work

Mr. Cruz led the ACCRALAW Firm in corporate disputes which drew landmark Supreme Court decisions, such as the American Standard/Saniwares case, Chemical Industries (Chemphil) shareholders disputes, and the Associated Bank/Leonardo Ty corporate litigation.  More recently, he is involved in legal issues of the ASEAN Treaty for protection of foreign investments as arbitration counsel for Metroplex Bhd Malaysia.

A leading authority on oil and gas, and energy laws, Mr. Cruz has served in the Boards of Mobil Oil Corporation and Petron Corporation where he was Management Committee Member. Recently he is handling major renewable energy projects such as Solmessis Pty. Ltd., Australia (solar energy) and six (6) major hydro power projects of San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders & Developers Group, Inc. and Equis of Singapore.

Mr. Cruz has served in the Boards of major utilities and banks, including Philippine Long Distance & Telephone Co., Philippine Airlines, Philippine National Bank (L.A.), Phil. Bank of Commerce, Associated Bank, Banco Filipino, Chemphil and Ortigas & Co. More recently, he was elected Chairman of the Hawaiian Airlines’ Airbridge, Inc. (Philippines) and is in the Management Committee of Isla Petroleum Gas Corporation (Shell) of Guam. In 2002, he was elected centennial President of the prestigious Manila Golf & Country Club. 

Mr. Cruz taught Law at San Beda College of Law 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.


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