Family feud over bus firm rages

Vallacar Transit Inc. president Leo Rey Yanson on Saturday clarified that her mother, Olivia V. Yanson,  has not lost her right as the co-founder and owner of the country’s largest bus company despite her age.

Leo Rey issued the clarification after four of his siblings—Roy, Ricardo Jr., Emily and Celina—did not attend the special stockholders meeting on Aug. 19, 2019 and questioned the right of their mother as a stockholder of VTI.

“To my siblings in the other camp, if you really love our mother, please be sincere in your actions. OVY eagerly awaits all of you. Do it now please, while she is still with us,” said Leo Rey.

Established in 1968, the 52-year-old bus conglomerate founded by the late Ricardo B. Yanson Sr.   and his wife Olivia, now has a total of 18,000 employees who provide transport services to 700,000 passengers daily.

The family feud started on July 7, 2019 when the four Yanson siblings in a purported special board meeting, unceremoniously unseated Leo Rey Yanson  as the president of VTI.  Leo Rey was subsequently replaced by his eldest brother Roy Yanson but Leo Rey with the support of his mother, Olivia V. Yanson and sister Ginnette Y. Dumancas, refused to step down.

On Aug. 19, the stockholders of VTI, including the Yanson matriarch, elected a new set of board of directors who subsequently reelected Leo Rey Yanson as the president of the company. 

The special stockholders meeting effectively reaffirmed Leo Rey Yanson as the rightful president of VTI, the largest subsidiary of the Yanson Group of Bus Companies and is the company behind Ceres Liner and Sugbo Transit.

The other four siblings, however, said the special stockholders meeting on Aug. 19 lacked the quorum because their mother is no longer an owner of VTI.

To this, Leo Rey asked his siblings to respect the right of their mother and remember the words of their late father that he tried to instill as a core family value. “Respect is earned, not given!” he said.

He said family relationships, business dealings and human relations thrive on respect as a solid, indispensable foundation. “Respect runs deep, and is the aortic component in every family, without which, everything crumbles in a whiff,” Leo Rey said.

Leo Rey said, “VTI was started and honed to what it is now by our parents as a conjugal venture.”  He said that claiming that her mother Olivia no longer owns VTI is plainly wrong.

“Given this, it is but fitting and proper that OVY be accorded respect and control over what she built over the years. Only insatiable greed and plain opportunism could have impelled them to disrespect OVY and claim falsities against her, simply because OVY is advancing in age, and RBY [Ricardo B. Yanson Sr.] is no longer around,” he said.

Leo Rey said his parents built Ceres from scratch. “Allow her to enjoy the fruits of her hard-earned labor,” he said.

Olivia during a press conference held on Aug. 19, said: “I work so hard so I don’t have to ask from my children when I am old.”

“Legally and morally, OVY owns VTI, OVY owns Ceres,” Leo Rey said.

Olivia said she finds it difficult, if not impossible to comprehend the conflicting and uncoordinated views of the Yanson Four based on their recent press releases.

While Roy Yanson started to initiate the healing process and called for unity, Emily Yanson seemingly contradicts the view postured by her brother, Roy.

Leo Rey said it is inaccurate, if not inappropriate, for Emily to refer to him alone when talking about reconciliation when she herself has yet to atone.

It may not be amiss to state that weeks prior, Emily was the subject of social media tirades with the way she addressed her mother in her Aug. 15, 2019 letter, on the issue involving Ceres Mart, according to Leo Rey.

Leo Rey said he could not fully comprehend that as the previous corporate secretary, Emily failed to note the fact that she was not a legitimate possessor/owner of any shares of stock of VTI.

“Anent the authority to call for a meeting, I maintain that I was never legally ousted as president. Between the Aug. 19, 2019 meeting and that of the July 7, 2019 directors’ meeting conducted by the Yanson Four, the former must prevail, ” Leo Rey said.

Leo Rey said that notwithstanding the foregoing declarations and legal positions, they are still hopeful that “Emily, Celina and Ricardo Jr. will join the call of their elder brother Roy in the latter’s plea for unity, reconciliation and healing.”

Topics: Vallacar Transit Inc. , Yanson Group of Bus Companies , Ma. Lourdes Celina Yanson Lopez , legal case
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