News and UpdatesIn the NewsCourt dismisses Yanson petition to disinherit ‘Yanson 4’

Court dismisses Yanson petition to disinherit ‘Yanson 4’

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In multi-billion corporate battle

The Regional Trial Court Branch 42 in Bacolod City has dismissed Vallacar Transit Incorporated matriarch Olivia V. Yanson’s petition to invalidate her six children’s Extra Judicial Settlement that equally divided their shares in the Yanson Group of Bus Companies (YGBC).

The Order dated October 2, 2023, Bacolod RTC Branch 42 Judge Maria Lina P. Gonzaga dismissed the petition, which had been pending for about five years.

This Order is seen as a resolution to the question of who is really in control of the YGBC, which holds the monopoly of the passenger bus operations in Negros Island and is one of the largest bus conglomerates in Southeast Asia and operates more than 4,000 buses nationwide with 18,000 employees who provide transport services to 700,000 passengers daily.

It can be recalled that upon the death of YGBC founder Dr. Ricardo B. Yanson (RBY), Sr., on October 25, 2015, his compulsory heirs, Dr. Olivia V. Yanson (OVY) and their six children later executed an Extra-Judicial Settlement (EJS) of his estate on Dec. 16, 2015 and amended later on December 20, 2017, to partition and distribute RBY’s entire estate among themselves.

The EJS was based on the Shareholders’ Agreement all of them – both parents, six (6) children and the latter’s spouses – made on October 10, 2013 where they all agreed to a seamless transfer ultimately of all shares in the bus companies to be divided equally among the six (6) Yanson siblings.

RBY’s estate consisted of several shares in the various family corporations, real properties, bank deposits and vehicles. All real estate properties, bank deposits and vehicles went to OVY while all the shares in the family corporations, which were to be divided equally among the six children, went to the six (6) siblings in a mutually reciprocal exchange of rights.

In short, OVY relinquished all her shares in the YGBC in favor of her six (6) children wherein four of the siblings – Roy, Emily, Celina and Ricky, now referred to as the “Yanson 4” – became majority owners of the YGBC, particularly Vallacar Transit Inc., at 61.17 percent.

This was reflected in the General Information Sheets (GIS) of the various bus companies after the execution of the EJS in 2015 and the years following up to their intra-corporate dispute in 2019. Attempts to settle the family dispute were done even by then President Rodrigo Duterte, to no avail.

OVY, after realizing that her remaining two children Ginette and Leo Ray, became minority shareholders,  filed Civil Case No. 18-15199 on October 9, 2018 challenging the legality and validity of the extra-judicial partition and distribution and recover her shares in the YGBC.

The Yanson 4 vehemently opposed this petition, citing that their mother was of sound mind when she freely and voluntarily relinquished her shares neither was she under duress or coerced so to do.

In the meantime, due to some management and trust issues and asserting their being majority shareholders, the Yanson 4 replaced Leo Ray as president of the YGBC on July 7, 2019.  In a subsequent special stockholders meeting, where they elected a new set of directors, the YGBC reappointed Leo Ray as president.

OVY and her lawyers filed an amended complaint on October 11, 2018.

OVY later amended her complaint with a second complaint on September 25, 2019, only to file a motion on September 25, 2023   to withdraw the second amended September 25, 2019 complaint and to continue the proceedings under the first amended complaint filed on October 11, 2018.

And instead of complying with the court’s order, OVY’s lead counsel withdrew from the case and did not file the compliance required by the court and instead filed for an extension of time to comply therewith. The court rightfully said that the case was delayed by about two (2) years excluding the pandemic years due to the fault of OVY and counsels. Justice delayed is justice denied.

A statement from the YGBC said with this new development, it becomes clear that all cases filed against the Yanson 4, including carnapping and qualified theft of company properties, have no legal basis. (PR)

 

 

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