Mother-and-son-led Yanson bloc tightens grip on largest PH bus firm

By: Daxim L. Lucas - Philippine Daily Inquirer | December 09,2020 - 05:00 PM

With the help of a security escort, Leo Rey Yanson (left) assists his mother Olivia out of the venue of the annual stockholders’ meeting of Bachelor Express Inc. in Barangay Bulua in Cagayan de Oro City on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. Photo by JIGGER J. JERUSALEM / Inquirer Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines—Control of Vallacar Transit Inc.,  which operates the country’s largest fleet of buses, remained firmly in the hands of the mother-and-son tandem of Olivia and Leo Rey Yanson after its latest stockholders’ meeting which a breakaway faction of the billionaire family failed to attend.

In a statement, the Bacolod-based firm said that during its annual meeting last weekend at its principal office in Bacolod City, Ginnette Yanson-Dumancas, Charles Dumancas, Anita Chua, Arvin John Villaruel and Daniel Nicolas Golez were reelected as members of the board of directors.

The board also held an organizational meeting where Leo Rey Yanson was reappointed as chair and president of Vallacar Transit, while Olivia Yanson was reappointed as the firm’s corporate secretary and treasurer.

The company owns and operates as estimated 4,000 buses nationwide, including Ceres Liner, which operates in Luzon and Visayas.

“Despite proper and timely notice, stockholders Roy Yanson, Ma. Lourdes Celina Yanson-Lopez, Ricardo Yanson Jr., Juan Manuel Lopez and Ma. Susan Yanson were absent,” the company said.

This faction, composed of four other siblings of Leo Rey, pulled off a boardroom coup in June 2019 and briefly took control of the company, before the original management was able to recover control of the multibillion-peso enterprise two months later.

What followed was a tit-for-tat exchange of legal actions, with each side trying to assert their hold on the company.

“Roy, Celina and Ricky are believed to be unable to attend the meeting because they are currently hiding abroad as fugitives from justice together with their sister Emily Yanson,” the company added.

The firm said there were several outstanding warrants of arrest against the four siblings—Roy, Celina, Ricky and Emily—for car theft and grave coercion issued by the courts of Bacolod City.

“Just recently, warrants of arrest have also been issued against Emily for the crimes of perjury and falsification of Vallacar Transit’s general information sheets,” the statement said. “It is those same questionable [regulatory filings] that are being used by [the four siblings] to claim their majority ownership of [the company].”

The company said it remained “strong and resilient” despite all internal dispute it has been experiencing over the past two years.

“It continues to be steadfast in its goal to serve the Filipino people,” it said.

“[Vallacar Transit] continues to pursue its mission of helping alleviate the burden of every Filipino by providing safe and quality transportation to everyone,” it added.

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TAGS: bus liners, Vallacar Transit Inc., Yanson

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