SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw) is pleased to announce the admission of Maria Jennifer Z. Barreto, Melyjane G. Bertillo-Ancheta, Hiyasmin H. Lapitan, and Jose Florante M. Pamfilo to the partnership.

Maria Jennifer Z. Barreto

Ms. Barreto is a member of the firm’s special projects; banking, finance and securities; and employment and immigration departments. Her expertise in M&A and financing cover energy, mining, banking, gambling, manufacturing and business process outsourcing sectors. She has done significant work in natural resources, including the renewable energy space.

She has acted as counsel to investors in various Philippine mining projects such as the Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Mining Project in the Province of Albay and the Far South East Gold–Copper Porphyry Project in Mankayan, Benguet. She has also worked on investments in hydro, wind, coal and biomass power projects, including the acquisition of the 600MW coal-fired thermal power plant in Masinloc, Zambales and the hydroelectric power station of Agusan Power Corporation in Agusan del Norte, Mindanao. Her other transactional work include the joint venture investment by a leading conglomerate in the Philippines and Genting Hong Kong in Resorts World Manila hotel, casino entertainment and integrated resort complex.

Ms. Barreto obtained her undergraduate degree (magna cum laude) from Ateneo de Manila University and her law degree from the University of the Philippines, where she received the Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence. Prior to joining the firm, she worked as a clerk for Justice Mariflor Punzalan Castillo of the Philippine Court of Appeals. She lectures on accounting for the Finance and Accounting Department of the Ateneo de Manila University’s School of Management.

Melyjane G. Bertillo-Ancheta

Ms. Bertillo-Ancheta is with the firm’s banking, finance and securities, and special projects groups. She specializes in securities regulation, including securities registration and listing, and regularly assists clients in governance and disclosure matters. She has extensive experience in the areas of commercial lending and project finance.

Her transactional work includes the financing of projects under the Philippine Government’s Public-Private Partnership program, specifically the infrastructure project for public schools and the NAIA Expressway project. She has worked on several international securities offerings of Philippine companies, including Petron Corporation’s 2013 issuance of undated subordinated capital securities, considered as “the Philippine’s largest offshore issuance of hybrid securities to date.” In 2014, she worked on the domestic liability management transaction of the Republic of the Philippines which involved offers to exchange eligible bonds and subscribe for new ROP bonds.

Ms. Bertillo-Ancheta acts as Corporate Secretary for companies in various industries.

She obtained her law degree from the University of the Philippines where she received the Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence. She also has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Ateneo Graduate School of Business.

Hiyasmin H. Lapitan

Ms. Lapitan is a member of the firm’s special projects; tax; banking, finance and securities; and corporate services departments. Her corporate work relate to investments in, and financing of projects in various industries including energy, construction, and advertising industries. She specializes in insurance law and has broad experience in investments in, and regulation of, this sector. Ms. Lapitan regularly provides tax structuring advice. She has experience in government contracts, and has worked on public biddings for government assets and contracts.

Her recent projects include the structuring of the transfer of the insurance portfolio of a non-life insurance company; the licensing of a newly-formed insurance agency; the development, equity structuring, construction, and financing of a 50 MW geothermal power generation project in the Visayas region; the sale of interests in commonly-owned facilities of petroleum companies; the reorganization of a group of advertising agencies; and the formation of a joint venture for the supply of bulk water. She was part of the team that worked on a US$720 million project financing for the development and construction of a 2 x 300 MW coal-fired power generation facility in Bataan, Philippines; the issuance of US$350 million subordinated guaranteed perpetual capital securities by a Dutch subsidiary of a local listed company; and the sale of shipyard assets.

Ms. Lapitan obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of the Philippines. She received her law degree from the same university where she was given the Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence. Before joining the firm, she was an information officer of the Provincial Government of Laguna.

Jose Florante M. Pamfilo

Mr. Pamfilo is a member of the firm’s Special Projects and Banking, Finance and Securities groups. His practice areas include investments, mergers and acquisitions, finance, and the energy and international trade law sectors.

His projects have included the sale of a controlling stake in a publicly-listed dairy manufacturing company; the sale by a Dutch bank of its Philippine trust and investment unit; the purchase by the power generation arm of the country’s largest power distribution utility of a 20% stake in a major power producer; and financing for the acquisition of a controlling stake in one of the Philippines’ leading sugar mills. He has advised international and local banks on various issues relating to the conduct of banking business and the offering of financial services in the Philippines. He has also advised prospective investors on the legal and regulatory framework for the energy sector in general, and for renewable energy in particular.

Mr. Pamfilo has represented clients before the Appellate Body and dispute settlement panel of the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland on a GATT dispute, and before the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry on a safeguards dispute.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in Management (Honors Program) (cum laude) from Ateneo de Manila University and his law degree (valedictorian and cum laude) from the University of the Philippines. He received his Master of Laws from the University of Michigan Law School as a DeWitt Fellow and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2012.

About SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw) was founded in 1945 and is the leading full-service law firm in the Philippines. Its principal office is in Makati City, with branch offices in Cebu City, Davao City, and the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

SyCipLaw maintains links with established and leading firms based in Asia, Europe, Canada, the US, Central and South America, Australia, and New Zealand.

Among other citations, SyCipLaw is recognized by Chambers Global, Chambers Asia-Pacific and Asia-Pacific Legal 500 as a top-tier firm, and by the 2014 International Financial Law Review Asia Awards as the National Law Firm for the Philippines. It also received the Philippine Law Firm of the Year from the 2014 Who’s Who Legal Awards.

For more information, please visit or contact Kato Sarmiento at +63 2 982 3500 or