Mark specializes in taxation, as well as general and commercial litigation. He started his legal career in 2002 at Quisumbing Torres and SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan. In 2007, he was one of the partners who founded C&G Law.
Mark has been cited as a leading Philippine lawyer in the field of taxation by Chambers Asia Pacific in its 2010 to 2019 Asia-Pacific publications. The Legal 500 Asia Pacific also recognizes him as a leading lawyer in tax in its 2016 to 2019 publications.
Mark has also been cited as a leading Philippine lawyer in the field of dispute resolution by Chambers Asia Pacific in its 2015 to 2017 Asia-Pacific publications. The Asia Business Law Journal has also listed him as one of the Philippines’ top 100 lawyers in 2018 and 2019.
- Ateneo de Manila University School of Law, Juris Doctor (Class of 2001, class salutatorian); University of the Philippines Diliman, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accountancy (Class of 1996)
- Admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2002 (third place, 2001 Philippine Bar examinations)
Mark’s experience in taxation includes consultancy and advisory in tax. He also represents and acts for clients in challenging assessments, questioning tax regulations and ordinances, and claiming refunds of various internal revenue, customs duties, local taxes and other government levies in forums such as the Supreme Court, Court of Tax Appeals, Court of Appeals, Regional Trial Courts, and quasi-judicial bodies such as the Central Board of Assessment Appeals and various Local Boards of Assessment Appeals. He also regularly assists clients secure rulings and opinions from tax authorities.
Mark has also acquired a diverse experience in general and commercial litigation. He has appeared and argued before various Philippine courts, quasi-judicial bodies, and regulatory agencies. He has handled and tried a broad range of cases involving intra-corporate disputes, rehabilitation and liquidation of distressed companies, debt recovery, claims of indigenous peoples, letters of credit, anti-competitive behavior, receivership, property ownership and possession, right of way, oil and marine pollution liability, contractual disputes, product liability, torts, negligence, libel and defamation, medical malpractice, employment disputes, probate, and annulment as well as criminal proceedings such as embezzlement, wash sales, bouncing checks, defamation, perjury, falsification, theft, physical injuries, homicide, rape, graft and corruption, and anti-dummy cases.
Mark’s current and recent projects and transactions include:
- Advising on the tax aspects of the sale of one of the leading cement production companies.
- Advising on the Philippine aspect of the global corporate restructuring of a leading pharmaceutical company.
- Advising different clients in coming up with the most tax efficient structure for including a joint venture with a local water district for the construction and operation of a bulk water facility.
- Advising an energy generation company on the tax issues involved in the construction and operation of a 300-MW power plant.
- Advising a mass transportation company on the tax issues which may arise from a potential Public-Private Partnership.
- Reviewing monthly and quarterly tax filings and tax compliance of several companies involved in mining and cement production.
- Assisting different clients secure tax treaty relief from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (“BIR”) involving various issues on alienation of shares, residency, royalties, dividends, and permanent establishments.
- Advising a multinational corporation on the propriety of a request from a foreign tax authority to Philippine tax authorities to provide information and documents relating to an investigation on compliance with transfer pricing regulations in a foreign jurisdiction.
- Advising a publicly-listed Japanese company on the tax aspects of its divestment from a joint venture in a company involved in manufacturing of consumer goods.
- Advising a foreign bank on the tax aspects of trusts with offshore assets administered abroad by foreign trustees.
- Advising a client on the tax issues involved in the construction and operation of a beverage manufacturing company.
- Advising a client on the tax issues involved in the operation of a hotel business.
- Assisting a manufacturing company apply for a compromise settlement with the BIR involving excise taxes.
- Advising different clients on share and property transfers and assisting them secure certificates authorizing registration from the BIR.
- Assisting clients in the dissolution of their affiliates and assisting them secure tax clearances.
- Assisting in the settlement of estate taxes of various individuals.
Mark’s current tax dispute resolution cases include:
- Representing a pharmaceutical company in proceedings before the BIR involving the assessment of various alleged deficiency taxes (i.e., income tax, value added tax, withholding tax, fringe benefits tax, improperly accumulated earnings tax and documentary stamp tax) in the amount of around P1 Billion.
- Representing a mass transportation company in proceedings before the BIR involving the assessment of various alleged deficiency taxes (i.e., income tax, improperly accumulated earnings tax, expanded withholding tax and documentary stamp tax) in the amount of around P16 Billion.
- Representing a power generation company in proceedings pending before the BIR involving the assessment of various alleged deficiency income tax of around P420 Million.
- Representing a cement production company in proceedings pending before the BIR involving the assessment of various alleged deficiency income tax of around P250 Million.
- Advising and assisting a logistics company and a financial advisory firm in proceedings before the BIR involving the issuance of subpoenas.
- Representing a mass transportation company in two (2) separate proceedings before the Court of Tax Appeals involving the assessment of various alleged deficiency taxes (i.e., income tax, value added tax, expanded withholding tax, final withholding tax, fringe benefits tax and documentary stamp tax) in the amounts of around P6 Billion and P9 Billion respectively.
- Representing a power generation company located in an export zone in proceedings before the Supreme Court involving the assessment of alleged deficiency taxes as a result of the disallowance various types of expenses purportedly for being indirect costs.
- Representing a power generation company in proceedings before the Central Board of Assessment Appeals questioning the assessment of real property taxes (of around P160 Million annually) where the proper characterization of machinery as anti-pollution devices is the issue.
- Representing a cement manufacturing company in proceedings before a Local Board of Assessment Appeals challenging the assessment of real property taxes where the propriety of depreciation of machinery (valued at around P3 Billion) is the principal issue.
- Representing a power generation company in proceedings pending before a Regional Trial Court contesting an assessment of alleged deficiency business tax of around P350 Million where the proper interpretation of a taxpayer’s gross receipts is involved.
- Representing a mining company in proceedings before different Local Board of Assessment Appeals and Regional Trial Courts which were filed as a result of the overlapping claims of two (2) provinces and three (3) municipalities on the project site.
- Representing a power generation company in various proceedings before a Local Board of Assessment Appeals involving the proper classification of its buildings and machinery.
- Representing a power generation company and a chamber of commerce in proceedings before the Regional Trial Court to have municipal revenue ordinance nullified.
- Representing a cement manufacturing company in proceedings before a Regional Trial Court involving the proper allocation of business tax affecting payments to more than twenty (20) local government units.
- Representing a power generation company in proceedings before the Supreme Court involving the proper allocation of business taxes where two (2) municipalities have overlapping claims over the project site.
- Member, Integrated Bar of the Philippines (2002-present)
Directorships/Other Corporate Positions
Mark serves as director and corporate secretary of several corporations and foundations.
- Law and Practice in the Philippines, Corporate Tax, Chambers and Partners Global Practice Guides .
- An Overview of the Expanded Jurisdiction of the Court of Tax Appeals, IBP Journal Volume 30 .