Aquino appoints Cristobal as new trade chief

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III has appointed Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr as the new trade secretary, replacing Gregory Domingo, Malacañang announced on Tuesday, December 29.

Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said the president appointed Cristobal as "ad interim Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry effective 31 December 2015."

The President signed his appointment paper on December 22.

Cristobal is undersecretary for industrial development group and managing head of the Board of Investments.

Domingo tendered his resignation in September to return to the private sector, but was prevailed upon to stay on until after the Philippine hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Summit in November.

Cristobal, a lawyer, first joined public service as Special Assistant to the interior secretary from 1991 to 1994.  He later established his own law practice, taught politics and governance at the Ateneo School of Government, and served as adviser to heads of different government agencies.
In 2001, he was appointed DTI Undersecretary for Consumer Welfare and Trade Regulation Group. He was also designated Supervising Undersecretary for the Office of Legal Affairs and the DTI secretary’s Chief of Staff.
In 2005, he was appointed Director General of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). When his fixed term expired in 2009, he returned to private practice and taught law at De La Salle University.

He rejoined government in August 2010, initially as DTI Undersecretary for International Trade Group.
Cristobal obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley, USA, and his Juris Doctor of Laws at the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines.

He holds a certificate from the Strategic Business Economic Program of the University of Asia and the Pacific and has published papers on Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Governance. –