2 Yanson factions in giant bus firm elect rival boards on same day
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines — The feuding Yanson family, owners of the Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI), the largest bus company in the Philippines, held two separate stockholders meetings and elected two different sets of officers here on Saturday.
One faction is composed of four Yanson siblings — Roy, Emily, Ricardo Jr., and Ma. Lourdes Celina Yanson Lopez. In a meeting at the Seda Hotel in this city, they elected Celina as VTI president, Roy as vice president for operations, Ricardo Jr. as secretary, Emily as treasurer, and Jose Jonathan Ealdama as vice president for legal.
They took their oath of office before a notary public immediately after the meeting, which Roy, the eldest of the siblings, presided over.
Roy was previously president of this faction. But according to Celina, Roy opted to give up the post due to health reasons. So the three siblings decided to elect her in his place.
Three representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission were present during the meeting of the four siblings, their lawyer, Philip Sigfrid Fortun, said.
According to Fortun, the siblings own and control 61% of VTI shares, making them the majority shareholders and the legitimate officers of the firm.
The other group is led by family matriarch Olivia Yanson and includes her two children Leo Rey and Ginnette Yanson Dumancas.
This group refutes the four sibling’s claim of majority ownership and is in physical control of the firm’s bus operations throughout the Visayas and Mindanao.
Fortun said the four Yanson siblings would pursue legal action to regain physical control of VTI.
On Sunday, the matriarch’s group issued a statement, saying: “Under the company’s by-laws, the annual stockholders’ meeting should be held every first Saturday of December at its principal office.”
So the group held its meeting at the VTI principal office at the Ceres Compound in Barangay Mansilingan in this city.
The stockholders elected Olivia, Leo Rey, Ginnette, Charles Dumancas, Arvin John Villaruel, Anita Chua and Daniel Nicolas Golez as members of the board of directors.
The elected directors will serve for a year until December 2020 or until their successors will have been elected and qualified.
Following their election, the directors held an organizational meeting and reappointed Leo Rey, the youngest of the siblings, as company president and Olivia as treasurer and corporate secretary.
Leo Rey presided over the meeting.
Last July, the group of the four Yanson siblings ousted Leo Rey and gained control of the firm for a month before the matriarch’s group wrested control back from them.
Hope for reconciliation
Meanwhile, Celina said the siblings were still open to settling their differences with each other.
“Reconciliation will always be there, especially now that it is Christmas time,” Celina said. “We’re trying to reach out to our mom and send feelers, but I think she is demanding something from us that we need to think over. We cannot decide now.”
“There is some hope for the reconciliation,” she added.
But if no reconciliation would take place, Celina said they would have to opt for legal remedies.
Vallacar Transit Inc. is the largest subsidiary of the Yanson Group of Bus Companies and is the company behind Ceres Liner and Sugbo Transit. It has 15 bases of operations in the cities of Bacolod, Iloilo, Dumaguete, Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, Butuan, Davao, Pagadian, Dipolog, Bohol, and Batangas.
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