Yanson feud further heats up with falsification, perjury raps vs faction in bus ownership war
MANILA, Philippines—The fight for control of the country’s largest bus firm heated up further after more criminal complaints were filed against the breakaway faction of Bacolod City’s billionaire Yanson family who tried to take over Vallacar Transit Inc. in 2019.
In a statement, the camp of Leo Rey Yanson—president of the bus firm Ceres Lines—said new charges were filed against one of the members of the faction of the so-called “Yanson 4” siblings, and their lawyer, Anna Isabella Galvez of Fortun Narvasa and Salazar Law Office, who are fighting for control of the company.
In two resolutions dated March 15, 2021, the Department of Justice in Manila found probable cause for five counts of falsification and five counts of perjury against Emily Yanson for her “untruthful statements” in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.
The same charges were filed in connection with the amended 2018 general information sheets of Rural Transit Mindanao Inc. (RTMI). Three additional counts of falsification and three counts of perjury for untruthful statements in the 2017, 2018 and amended 2018 GIS of Bachelor Express Inc. (BEI) were also filed.
Emily Yanson is one of the members of the family faction which includes Roy Yanson, Celina Lopez and Ricardo Yanson Jr. The other faction consists of the Yanson matriarch and incumbent corporate secretary and treasurer Olivia V. Yanson, incumbent president Leo Rey Yanson and daughter Ginnette Y. Dumancas.
RTMI and BEI are among the bus companies under the Yanson Group of Bus Companies.
The group said the DOJ found that “mere inheritance of shares of stocks does not make a person a stockholder”.
“To be considered as a stockholder, a certificate signed by the corporation’s president or vice-president, countersigned by the secretary or assistant secretary, and sealed with the seal of the corporation shall first be issued,” it said.
The DOJ also concluded that “the mere inclusion of her name in the GIS of the corporation does not immediately make her a stockholder. Thus, her sudden inclusion in the list of stockholders in the GIS is unfounded and unsound.”
The Yanson 4 side said the falsification and perjury charge against one of their lawyers was made by the Makati City prosecutor’s office despite an ongoing dispute over the control of the company pending with a Regional Trial Court in Bacolod City.
“Under Republic Act No. 8799, it is the appropriate Regional Trial Courts that have jurisdiction to resolve intra-corporate disputes, and its existence directs the suspension of the preliminary investigation proceedings against an accused until proceedings on the intra-corporate issues are completed with finality,” lawyer Carlo Joaquin Narvasa a said in a statement.
He explained that the Supreme. Court recently decided in a separate case that before any court can delve into the question of whether there is probable cause to charge anyone with an offense, the threshold legal issue that needs to be addressed first is whether there is a prejudicial question that justifies suspension of criminal proceedings against a person indicted for a crime.
“The [Office of the City Prosecutor of] Makati did not heed the pronouncements of the High Court and failed to apply its ruling to the case against Atty. Galvez despite its own confirmation that an intra-corporate dispute exists among the warring shareholders of VTI,” he said. “Of course, those benefitted by the indictment of Atty. Galvez wisely suppressed important information that will render the resolutions void if not premature.”
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