BIZ BUZZ: Firmer grip on bus empire
It was touch and go for a while in the aftermath of the 2019 boardroom coup at the Bacolod-based Yanson Group of Companies, the largest bus transit firm in the country. But all that looks like it’s in the past now.
That’s because the management of Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI)—the flagship firm of the Yansons’ nationwide transportation empire—won another round in its long-running legal battle with the family’s four rebellious children.
Biz Buzz learned that the Court of Appeals recently affirmed the arrest warrants and hold departure orders issued by a Bacolod judge against the so-called Yanson Four involved in the short-lived takeover of the group that includes the popular Ceres Liner four years ago.
The company was quick to tout its legal win, saying “this development stabilizes the management team headed by Leo Rey Yanson as president of Vallacar, thereby ensuring the continuity of the transport company to serve the public.”
In its decision last month, the appellate court affirmed the warrants of arrest and hold departure orders against four Yanson siblings for qualified theft—a nonbailable offense—in connection with the missing equipment, documents and other assets during their July 2019 attempt to take over the control and management of VTI.
The 19th Division of the Court of Appeals in Cebu City said in a June 21, 2023 resolution that the Bacolod court’s December 2022 order finding probable cause for qualified theft against Roy Yanson, Ricardo Yanson Jr., Ma. Lourdes Celina Yanson and Emily Yanson “was an exercise of her inherent power to amend and control the court’s processes and orders as to make them expeditious and still conformable to law.”
The Yanson Four appealed the Bacolod court’s decision, but the CA affirmed the local court’s order.
In a special board meeting in July 2019, the Yanson Four removed Leo Rey Yanson— the youngest of the siblings and the company’s head—as president of VTI and replaced him with elder brother, Roy.
But a month later, Leo Rey, with the help of the police, regained control of VTI’s premises, and discovered that several corporate properties, including documents and files, were missing. Thus, charges were filed against his four siblings.
So is this the end of the four-year saga of the billionaire Yanson family? Abangan!