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Cesar E. (Jun) Santamaria, Jr.

Partner, Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)

LLB (Hons), University of Santo Tomas, Philippines
Attorney-at-Law, Philippines
BSA (Hons), University of Santo Tomas, Philippines
Certified Public Accountant, Philippines

T +632 894 0377 to 79
E cesantamaria@cagatlaw.com

Jun graduated cum laude with a degree in Accountancy from the College of Accountancy of the University of Santo Tomas in 1998.  He became a Certified Public Accountant in the same year. He graduated cum laude from the Faculty of Civil Law of the University of Santo Tomas in 2003 as the valedictorian of his class and the recipient of the Rector’s Award for Academic Excellence. He was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2004. Jun previously worked at SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan and as a Court Attorney of the Supreme Court of the Philippines before joining C&G Law in January 2008. Jun was promoted to C&G Law senior associate in July 1, 2009 and admitted as a C&G Law partner effective April 1, 2011.

Jun specialises in employment litigation and advisory, and has assisted clients on a broad range of employment matters including:(a) disputed and non-disputed employment terminations; (b) sexual harassment; (c) plant closure and redundancies; (d) union certification and collective bargaining; (e) recruitment of locals for employment abroad by a foreign principal; (f) recruitment of locals by a foreign employer in the Philippines through recruitment process outsourcing;  (g) employment and non-employment service contracts; (h) data privacy; (i) policy handbooks (including policies on employment standards, employee discipline, HIV/AIDS discrimination, and drug testing); (j) employment benefits migration following a merger; and (k) labour regulations compliance.  He is also in charge of the firm’s immigration practice.

As a result of his efforts, C&G Law was recommended by AsiaLaw in Labour & Employment in 2016 and 2017, and by The Legal 500 in 2017. He was also named by The Legal 500 as a leading Philippine lawyer for employment in 2017. 

Experience

Jun started his career as a litigator. He has handled a broad range of cases involving contract disputes, corporate rehabilitation and liquidation, debt recovery, energy law, local government taxation, personal injuries, immigration, maritime disputes, real estate, and criminal prosecution and defence. He has represented clients before Philippine courts of all levels, including the Metropolitan and Regional Trial Court, the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan, the Court of Tax Appeals, and the Supreme Court.  He has also acted for clients before numerous quasi-judicial bodies, including the National Labor Relations Commission, the Department of Justice, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Energy Regulatory Commission, the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission, the Professional Regulation Commission, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, and the Office of the President.

Jun’s employment law practice has its roots in litigation as well as he started in this field with handling contentious employment matters.  His background in litigation helped Jun successfully defend clients against claims of illegal employment termination, non-payment of employment benefits, and unfair labour practice, among others. 

Over the years, Jun’s employment law practice has covered all aspects of the field. He is seen by clients as a trusted advisor in all employment related issues, including regulatory and compliance matters in all stages of a business, from start-up to closure, including business transfers, suspensions, mergers, and closures. He has assisted clients with unionisation and collective bargaining concerns; with the preparation and review of employment contracts and employment policies; with the due diligence audit of third party service contractors; with the preparation, review, and implementation of redundancy programs as well as retirement programs. He has also advised clients on illegal recruitment, sexual harassment, and data privacy issues. Jun also has an extensive experience with assisting clients in the conduct of internal investigations in connection with employee fraud or negligence. Jun also assists clients with visa and employment permit concerns.

Work highlights:

  • Jun successfully defended a client against an illegal termination claim filed by one of its top executives. The claim maliciously imputed acts of discrimination and disdain to the client’s President and Chief Executive Officer and attacked the latter’s management style.  

  • The parent company of one client acquired the energy business of a global energy and transportation entity, resulting in the absorption by the client of the Philippine based employees of the acquired business. Jun assisted in the successful migration of the absorbed employees to the client’s existing retirement plan. There was a wide gap between the retirement schemes of both entities and the migration had to contend with a rule in the Philippines prohibiting the diminution of employment benefits.

  • Jun has advised a provider of outsourced recruitment process services on how it may legally assist its clients with their Philippine recruitment requirements in light of the prohibition against foreign entities from engaging in recruitment and placement activities in respect of Filipino workers.

  • Jun has provided a client that has put up a shared services centre in the Philippines with comprehensive advise on all the matters necessary for it to comply with Philippine employment law requirements, including advice on the Philippine labour law framework and environment, and the preparation of key employment related contracts and policies.

  • A client recently streamlined its operations and had to implement an employee redundancy program. Jun advised the client on how to properly terminate the employments of the affected workers and assisted it in the proper implementation and documentation of the redundancy program.

  • Jun has also recently advised different clients on the restructuring of the compensation packages of its employees; the mitigation of risks attendant to the erroneous recognition of retirement benefit service credits in favour of around 800 non-entitled personnel; and compliance with the rules on contracting arrangements.