Elmar B. Galacio, CFE, FCIArb

Elmar Galacio is our exclusively recommended Dispute Resolution expert in the Philippines on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Elmar directly using the contact details above.

A senior litigator, Elmar is the Firm’s primary litigator in banking fraud cases. His Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) license is a most sought-after expertise in the field, especially in commercial, civil, criminal and labor litigation, exemplified by his being lead external counsel representing the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), among other notable clients and some major banks, in their must-win complex cases.

Elmar heads the firm’s Arbitration Practice Group. He acts either as arbitrator or lead counsel in arbitration proceedings.  He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb), a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Institute of World Business Law, Asia Pacific Institute of Experts (APIEx), and of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA). He obtained his Oxford (CIArb) Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration in London. In the Philippines, he is accredited arbitrator with the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC), Philippine International Center for Conflict Resolution (PICCR), Philippine Institute of Arbitrators (PIArb), and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). He has extensive practice in construction and commercial arbitration (including information technology, mining and energy), both domestic and international, and both ad hoc and institutional arbitration, spanning almost 20 years now.

He graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1997 where he was member of the Order of the Purple Feather Honor Society, his Master in Public Policy from Saitama University (now Graduate Research Institute for Policy Studies) in Japan in 2000 as Monbusho scholar, and his Bachelor of Arts from the Holy Name University in Bohol where he graduated summa cum laude in 1992.

Elmar Galacio was Deputy General Counsel of the IBP.

Firm Overview:

The firm’s lawyers are highly respected by their peers for providing sought after legal guidance to leaders of our nation, captains of industry, and even the common man. All 20 partners, together with the firm’s associates and non-legal personnel, who count among the very best in the profession, are bound by a commitment to deliver the highest quality of service to help the firm’s clients attain success and contribute to nation building.

Together, practicing law as one firm, Cruz Marcelo and Tenefrancia provides unparalleled legal representation in various fields of law as a full-service firm.

Editha R. Hechanova, Esq.

Editha Hechanova is our exclusively recommended Patent Prosecution Services expert in the Philippines on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Editha directly using the contact details listed above.

Editha is the President and CEO of the company who oversees and manages trademark and patent prosecution, copyright registration, trademark valuation, searches and other non-contentious IP matters. Recognised from 2010 to 2014, Hechanova & Co., Inc. was listed among the top filers for both patents and trademarks by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).

Editha is also the Managing Partner of Hechanova-Bugay-Vilchez & Andaya-Racadio, specialising in IP litigation, licensing, border control and corporate, and employment law. She is a lawyer, certified public accountant, and a certified patent agent after having passed the first patent agent qualifying examination done by the government for lawyers in 2008 administered by IPOPHL.

Editha graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Business Administration major in Accounting from the University of the East and is a Certified Public Accountant. She then obtained her law degree from Ateneo de Manila University and was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 1990. She is candidate for MBA in Ateneo de Manila.

Having known prolific writer, Editha regularly contributes articles on IP Asia Leading and Managing Intellectual Property on Philippine current legal IP decided cases and trends. She has been a member of various international organisations such as INTA, MARQUES, FICPI, ECTA, AIPLA and LES as well as local organisations like Japan Institute for promoting Invention/Innovation, Makati Business Club, Philippine Chamber of Business, American Chamber of Philippines, and Association of PAQUE Professionals.

Firm Overview:

Hechanova & Co., Inc. specialises in patents and trademarks prosecution and maintenance, search services, review of license agreements and other IP related-documents, renewals, intellectual property recordals, customs recordation, food and drug product registration, plant variety protection, copyright registration, domain name registration, and intellectual property consulting.

Rainier Mamangun

Rainier Mamangun is our exclusively recommended Family Law expert in the Philippines on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Rainier directly using the contact details listed above.

Rainier is a senior partner and found of this full-service law firm based in Pasig City, Philippines. The firm provides legal services in the areas of civil and family law, labour and immigration law, corporate law, and special concerns.

The firm handles cases involving such matters as breach of contract, torts and damages, child custody, spousal and child support, domestic or inter-country adoption, annulment, reprobate of wills, visas, passports, dual-citizenship acquisition, legal briefs or legal advisories, document preparation and contract drafting, verification of titles with the Registry of Deeds, service of summons and notices from foreign courts, and notarial service. The firm also provides prosecution and defence of bigamy, anti-violence against women and children, theft and fraud, libel or oral defamation, threats and coercion, physical injuries, violation of the electronic commerce laws, and verification of pending cases in court or the prosecutor’s office, among others.

The firm works to provide representation and advice in a timely and cost-efficient manner, always with due regard to the quality of service and the specific needs of the client.

Edgardo G. Balois

Edgardo G. Balois is a General Partner and the Head of the Corporate and Commercial Practice Group of the Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako. He also handles project finance and international commercial arbitration.

He has been rated as leading lawyer, recommended lawyer, leader-in-his-field by various legal publication such as Chamber & Partners, IFLR, Asia-Pacific Law 500, PLC Which Lawyer, Chambers Asia, and Global Law Asia.He was listed as one of the leaders in the Philippines for corporate and commercial transactions from 1999 to 2009 by the Chambers and Partners -Chambers Global – The world’s leading lawyers. He was also cited as one of the leading individuals in the Philippines for corporate mergers and acquisitions transactions from 2001 to 2009 by The Asia Pacific Legal 500. Further, he was chosen as one of the recommended lawyers in the Philippines for company and corporate transactions from 2002 to 2003 in the Global Counsel 3000 8th Edition Which Lawyer.

He is a member of the board in and/or corporate secretary of various wholly-owned subsidiaries of foreign multinational companies and Filipino owned or controlled local companies with varied business activities relating to power, mining, business process outsourcing, entertainment, construction, oil and gas, airport operation, advertisement and packaging.

Mr. Balois is a director and a corporate secretary of ABB Inc., York Refrigeration Philippines, Inc., Amcor Specialty Cartons Rizal Corporation, corporate secretary of Mincom, Inc. and Asmaco Inc. (companies where ABB has direct and indirect financial interest and investments), SPC Realty Corporation (a realty company 40% owned by Amcor Specialty Cartons Inc.), Datascope Philippines Communications Inc. and Reynafilms Inc., and director in PTT Trading Corporation and PTT Philippines Corporation (wholly owned subsidiaries by its ultimate parent, Petroleum Authority of Thailand), The Thompson (Philippines) Corporation), Treyna Holdings Inc., Lowe Inc, Open Corporation and Paradigm Corporation (all members of the Mullen-Lowe Group), Traveloka Philippines Inc., Adventus IT Services (Philippines) Inc., Armored Auto Group Philippines, Inc. and Arch Global Services Philippines, Inc.

He is a resident agent of certain foreign companies with branches in the Philippines such as FCO Worldwide Inc. and Heufft Asia.

He was a lecturer or speaker in the following local, regional and international conferences:

a) In-House Congress Manila 2005, Makati City, Philippines on Code of Corporate Governance and How it has Expanded the Liabilities of Directors and Officers;
b) The Legal Management Council of the Philippines, also in 2005, Makati City, Philippines, on Good Corporate Governance in Corporations: The Role of the Company Secretary;
c) It’s More Fun Investing in the Philippines – Some Legal Land Mines to Watch out for when Investing in the Philippines. TAG Alliances International Conference, October 16, 2014, Hong Kong SRA;
d) The Alternative Dispute Resolution System in the Philippines: Confirming, Modifying, Correcting or Vacating the Award. 1st Annual Symposium for Arbitrators and Mediators, December 2, 2014, Jakarta, Indonesia; and
e) The Impact of Takeovers, Mergers and Acquisitions on the Workforce: Is there a Choice or Protection for Employees?, First Regional Conference on Current Developments in Employment Law in Malaysia and the ASEAN Countries, January 13-15, 2016, Kutching, Sarawak, Malaysia

He is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Makati West (RY 2012-2013) and a Major Donor Paul Harris Fellow.

He was a member of the International Board of Advisers of TAGLaw (Board Term 2012-2015), a worldwide alliance of independent law firms with more than 140 member firms in nearly 100 countries with more than 9,000 lawyers. He has delivered lectures during TAGLaw International and regional conferences.

He is a member of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, Philippine Constitution Association, Philippine Bar Association, UP Law Alumni Association, and IBP Makati City Chapter (President 1997).He was a member of the Organizing Committee of the IPBA 2018 Manila Conference held in Manila March of 2018.

Prior to joining the firm in 1976, he served as Senior Executive Assistant to Commissioner Efren I. Plana, of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

He graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1975, ranking tenth in his class, and was a member of the Order of the Purple Feather Honor Society, Phi Gammu Mu International Honor Society, and Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society. He placed 17th in the Bar Examination of 1975. He obtained his Bachelors of Arts degree in 1970 from the Divine Word University with honors, magna cum laude.

Firm Profile:

We Are A Full-Service Firm
Our law firm provides the full range of legal services for any activity involved in doing business in the Philippines. Our practice areas cover a wide range of legal problems and issues: we have an extensive general practice in corporate and commercial law, labor and employment law, civil/corporate/labor/criminal litigation, alternative dispute resolution, banking, securities, insurance, intellectual property, tax, product liability, commercial real estate transactions, computer and internet law, aviation and maritime law.

We have been recognized by international publications as offering highly specialized services in areas such as dispute resolution, M&A, project finance, and labor relations.

Diverse Clients, Extensive Experience
Our expertise comes from having dealt with a wide range of clients and the legal challenges facing them. With a solid domestic client base consisting of the Philippines’ largest corporations as well as some of its most eminent individuals and families, we also represent clients from all over the world. The firm counts many Fortune 500 companies from the United States, Canada, Europe (primarily the UK, Germany, Sweden and Italy), Japan and Southeast Asia (primarily Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong) among its international clients, together with a majority of the Philippines’ Top 200 corporations. Our clients have interests in various industries, including airlines, international banks, manufacturers, telecommunication companies, media, and power and utility companies. A testament to our consistency and excellence is that some clients have been with us since the early part last century.

We are the Philippine member of the TAGLaw international alliance of law firms. The firm also regularly corresponds with several international law firms, and has acted as Philippine counsel for many international transactions.

Traditional Values, Modern Thinking
Our practice remains steeped in traditional values that have guided a century of law practice. While we have earned our reputation for professionalism and excellence, we also take pride in being “cutting edge.” We apply the latest legal and “out-of-the-box” thinking to a client’s problem, approaching it creatively, in a multi-disciplinary manner. This is due in large part to the fact that we hire and train lawyers not only on the basis of their excellent academic credentials from the finest schools (several of our lawyers have postgraduate degrees from foreign universities) but also on their ability to formulate innovative, unconventional solutions to legal problems. It is no surprise that many of our law firm’s alumni have gone on to contribute to the development of Philippine law, jurisprudence and politics, as legislators, cabinet secretaries, founders of new law firms, and Justices of the Supreme Court.

Our offices have always been located in the Philippines’ central business district. Today, our offices are in Citibank Center – in the heart of the country’s financial center, Makati City – where our law library, the largest private law library in the Philippines and one of the largest in Asia, can also be found. We have invested heavily in information and communication technology infrastructure to enhance our ability to deliver accurate, efficient and timely legal services.

Norieva De Vega

Atty. Norieva de Vega is the Managing Partner of Nicolas & De Vega Law Offices (NDV Law). She obtained her Juris Doctor degree in Law from the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law where she graduated Class Salutatorian . She also received the Silver Medal Second Honors award. Moreover, she was bestowed the Silver Medal for Academic Excellence for her achievements in the field of academics. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. In addition, she has finished the Intellectual Property Law School Program of the Instituto de Estudos Europeus de Macau. Furthermore, she has successfully completed the Intellectual Property Training for Lawyers held in Tokyo, Japan and sponsored by the Japan Patent Office in coordination with the Association on Overseas Technical Scholarship. She also holds a Certificate from the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) for her completion of the WIPO Summer School on Intellectual Property held in Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

A duly registered resident representative accredited by the Philippine Intellectual Property Office, Atty. de Vega primarily practices intellectual property law, including licensing and technology transfer agreements and the prosecution and maintenance of trademarks, copyrights, patents, utility models, industrial designs. She also specializes in all areas of local and international taxation, election law and entertainment law. She has extensive experience in litigation, particularly in the fields of tax law, family law, immigration law, intellectual property litigation and enforcement actions.

Before forming the firm, Atty. de Vega was connected with Carpio Villaraza & Cruz (CVC Law), where she practiced Intellectual Property Law, Corporate Law and Litigation.

Atty. De Vega is a law professor at the De La Salle Graduate School of Business -Far Eastern University Institute of Law, the Philippines’ first Juris Doctor-M.B.A. program, where she teaches Political Law Review to graduating law students and Constitutional Law to freshmen law students. She is also a thesis/dissertation defense panelist. Pertinently, she is duly accredited as a Trainer by the Licensing Executives Society International.

In addition to teaching, Atty. De Vega is a media practitioner and a member of the Kapisanan nang mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas. In fact, she has hosted the radio show “Mind Your Own Business” at DZRJ 810 AM, the first English format AM station in the Philippines from 2011 to 2015. She is also a regular columnist at FranchisingPH, one of the leading resources in franchising in the Philippines. Moreover, she also writes for OFWHotjobs, a magazine devoted to Filipino overseas workers. Pertinently, Atty. De Vega has appeared in numerous television shows and radio programs as a legal expert in various fields of law such as business, labor, election, family and the like.

Atty. de Vega is also active in the community. At present, she is the President of the prestigious Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry – Mandaluyong . She is likewise the Chairman of the Advocacy Committee of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry – NCR (PCCI-NCR), an organization of all chambers of commerce in the National Capital Region. Moreover, she is the Vice- Chairman of the Mandaluyong Micro Small Medium Enterprise Development Council (MSMED Council).

Currently, she serves as a Director of the Valle Verde VI Homeowners’ Association and Chairman of its Grievance Committee. In addition, she is a Director of the Philippine National Police Mandaluyong Station Advisory Council on Police Transformation and Development. She is also a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Federacion Internacional De Abogadas, Licensing Executives Society (LES Philippines), Association on Overseas Technical Scholarship Alumni Association, The Law Association for Asia and the Pacific (LAWASIA)International, LAWASIA Philippines, Legal Management Council of the Philippines, International Association for Contract and Commercial Management and Sigma Delta Phi.

A humanitarian leader, Atty. De Vega has implemented numerous service and charitable projects in the community of Mandaluyong pertaining to nutrition, maternal health, legal aid, education, etc. as a past President of the Rotary Club of Mandaluyong Uptown (RY 2013-2014) and District Chairman for Public Image of Rotary District 3800 (RY 2015 – 2016).

Roderico V. Puno

Bar Qualifications:

– 1990, Philippines


– Ateneo de Manila University (A.B. Political Science, 1985; LL.B., 1989)
– Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago Illinois, U.S.A. (Master of Laws with honors)

Professional Associations:

– Integrated Bar of the Philippines


– English
– Filipino

Work Experience:

– Corporate Secretary: BDO Private Bank, 2004-2015
– Corporate Secretary: BDO Securities, Inc., 2004-2015
– Corporate Secretary: First Gen Corporation, 1998- 2015
– Corporate Secretary: First Gas Holdings Corporation, 1995-2015
– Vice President and General Counsel: First Philippine Holdings Corporation, 2001- 2003
– Director: GT Capital Holdings Inc.
– Director: Global Business Power, 2003-2013
– Corporate Secretary: Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation; Rustan Supercenter, Inc.; First Philippine Industrial Park
– Asst. Corporate Secretary: Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank), 2015

Practice Areas:

– Energy (Oil and Gas, Renewable Energy, Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission, Regulatory Approvals)
– Banking and Finance (Acquisition Finance, Derivatives and Financial Products, Financial Services, Loans and Credit Facilities, Project Finance, Securitization and Structured Finance)
– Bankruptcy / Financial Restructuring (Corporate Rehabilitation, Debt and Capital Restructuring, Foreclosure)
– Mergers and Acquisitions (Mergers / Corporate Reorganizations, Joint Ventures, Tender Offers, Strategic Investments and Acquisitions, Strategic Alliances, Hostile Deal Making)
– Privatization (Public Utility Regulation, Public Bidding / Negotiated Sale)
– Securities (Debt Capital Markets)
– Corporate and Commercial (Commercial Law)
– Dispute Resolution (International and Domestic Arbitration)
– Mining (Mining and Metals, Mineral Processing)
– Infrastructure (Roads and Tollways, Engineering, Procurement and Construction, Commercial and Industrial Developments)
– Legal Advocacy (Governmental and non-governmental Relations, Legislative Affairs)

Law Firm:

PUNOLAW has a history deeply rooted in its core values of excellence, integrity and professionalism. In their “Practice of Doing Good” as a fundamental tenet, PunoLaw’s lawyers imbibe the principles of perceptive determination, creative analysis, utmost diligence, profound faith and incisive legal acumen as they advance the client’s interests with a keen sense of contribution to social reform and nation-building.