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CA affirms warrant of arrest against Yanson 4 siblings

The Court of Appeals has affirmed the warrant of arrest issued by a Bacolod City court against four Yanson siblings for the non-bailbale offense of qualified theft in connection with the missing equipment, documents and other assets of Vallacar Transit Inc.(VTI).

In a Resolution dated June 21, 2023, the 19th Division of the Court of Appeals based in Cebu City declared that the Bacolod court’s Order dated December 2, 2022 finding probable cause for Qualified Theft against Roy Yanson, Ricardo Yanson Jr., Ma. Lourdes Celina Yanson and Emily Yanson (commonly called as Yanson 4 siblings) “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”.

This development stabilizes the management team headed by Leo Rey Yanson as President and thereby ensuring the continuity of the transport company to serve the public, said a company statement.

The CA further clarified that the Bacolod court’s “order is a determination of probable cause for the issuance of warrant of arrest against petitioners” “that is already an independent issuance that was not among the matters embraced by the petition”. The CA acted on several motions for reconsideration filed by the four Yanson siblings seeking to reverse the Bacolod court’s Order dated December 2, 2022 in Criminal Case No. 20-52097.

The Yanson 4 also faced warrants of arrest for several crimes such as non-bailable Carnapping in Criminal Case Nos. 20-51587 to 89 and Grave Coercion in Criminal Case No. 20-03-34459 also pending before Bacolod courts.

Court records showed that in a special board meeting on July 7, 2019, the Yanson 4 removed Leo Rey Yanson as president of VTI and replaced him with Roy. Leo Rey then filed Commercial Case No. 19-118 to question his removal and asked the court to nullify the SBM and reinstate him as president of VTI.

The Yanson 4 took over VTI’s head office from July 7 to August 5, 2019 with the help of security guards from AY 76 Security Specialists Inc. whom they hired to replace the guards of Armor Guard Negros Security Agency (AGNSA).

On August 7 and 9, 2019, Leo Rey and his supporters, including Hernan B. Omecillo and some personnel from the Philippine National Police regained control of VTI’s premises. They re-installed the guards from AGNSA and conducted an inventory in the main office where it was discovered that several corporate properties—including furniture, equipment, documents and files—were missing.

Omecillo and other personnel executed affidavits for and in behalf of VTI and sought the help of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Negros Occidental in filing complaints for robbery and qualified theft against the Yanson 4. Upon investigation of the CIDG, it was discovered that these properties were taken by Yanson 4 to the compound of Ceres Premium Foods Corp., a company controlled by Emily Yanson.

The CIDG then filed qualified theft charges against the Yanson 4. In its resolution dated June 9, 2020, the DOJ found probable cause to indict petitioners for qualified theft. The PNP earlier said it failed to enforce the warrants of arrest against the Yanson 4 who could not be found in their respective residences.

Established in 1968, the 52-year-old VTI founded by the late Ricardo Yanson Sr. and his wife Olivia V. Yanson, is a part of the Yanson Group of Bus Companies (YGBC).

A Bacolod City court, in an October 2021 decision, granted Olivia Yanson the mandate to oversee and administer the estate of her late husband Ricardo Yanson who co-founded with Olivia in 1968 the YGBC.

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