SGV letter clears Yanson daughter in fund mess
Leading auditing firm SyCip, Gorres Velayo and Co. (SGV) has cleared Celina Yanson-Lopez—chief financial officer of leading bus fleet operator Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI), which is currently embroiled in a bitter stockholder squabble—of alleged involvement in a P380-million financial mess.
In a letter dated Sept. 10, 2019, SGV’s legal counsel, Poblador Bautista and Reyes Law Offices, said “without disclosing the contents of its report, SGV can confirm that the report did not refer to Ms. Yanson-Lopez as the person directly liable for the loss of the funds.”
The firm’s senior partner, Alexander Poblador and Deogracias Fellone, both signed the letter on behalf of SGV.
SGV conducted an independent auditing probe on VTI after discovering several anomalous transactions made by the company’s Manila purchasing office (MPO) sometime in 2018.
The cashier of the MPO allegedly made illicit encashments and withdrawals amounting to P27 million through falsified and forged signed checks. The unauthorized transactions reportedly emanated from the MPO, which was then headed by a former company official who was said to be a favorite of the 85-year-old matriarch Olivia Yanson. That official, Rey Repollo, has since then been removed from his position but absolved of any crime.
Olivia, for her part, said she “has not and will not tolerate any wrongdoing in the company she has built and nurtured for the past 60 years.” Yanson blamed her daughter, Yanson-Lopez, who is part of the Yanson 4 group of four siblings who voted out their youngest sibling, Leo Rey, as president of VTI.
Yanson-Lopez is with her siblings Roy, Emily and Ricardo Jr. while the matriarch Olivia is allied with her two other children, Ginette Dumancas and Leo Rey. They recently retook control of the company amid protests by the Yanson 4 for lack of quorum.
The amount blamed on Yanson-Lopez consisted of unliquidated disbursements at MPO, including the P27-million qualified theft pinned on the cashier named Rowena Sarona, while the rest—amounting to P354.59 million—consisted of disbursements to various suppliers. The faction led by Olivia and Leo Rey threatened to file an estafa case against Yanson-Lopez over the alleged P380-million mess.
“As chief finance officer, it is her duty that whatever money she sent to the branches is properly liquidated,” the matriarch said.
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