“In this clash of titans, mere mortals will suffer.”
The six Yanson siblings and their mother, owners of a multi- billion peso bus empire that has been described as the largest in the Philippines, should resolve their differences for the sake of their 18,000 employees, union leader Roland dela Cruz said yesterday.
In the battle of the siblings for control of the Yanson group of bus companies, the ones who will be affected the most will be ordinary employees, dela Cruz, senior national executive vice president of the Philippine Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Workers Union-Trade Union of Congress of the Philippines ( PACIWU-TUCP), said.
De la Cruz and seven other union leaders from Visayas and Mindanao, at a press conference in Bacolod City yesterday, pledged their support for Leo Rey Yanson, whom they acknowledge as the legitimate president of the Yanson bus firms, and the family matriarch, Olivia V. Yanson.
The Board of Directors of Vallacar Transit Inc., Bachelor Express Inc., Rural Transit Mindanao Inc., Sugbo Transit Express Inc., and Mindanao Star Business Transit Inc. announced on Sunday the appointment of Roy V. Yanson as the new president of the five Yanson bus companies effective immediately, in place of his younger brother Leo Rey.
Roy was designated to the post by his siblings Emily and Ricardo Yanson, and Ma. Lourdes Celina Lopez in a special board meeting. Ginnette Yanson Dumancas and Leo Rey, who are allied with their mother, Olivia, were not at the meeting.
We are calling on Roy Yanson to step down in a heroic act of reconciliation for the sake of his late father who told the workers in Mindanao that his happiness was when the workers and their families were happy, Jose Ares, founder and administrator of the Mindanao Alliance of Land Transport and General Workers Union (MALTU), said.
“We are calling on RSY to do a heroic act of saving the peace and the unity of the family, their mother is already old and there might not be time anymore,” he said.
This is more of a moral issue, it is unthinkable for children to disrespect their parent, and for a mother to have to sue her children, Ares said.
“We are puzzled by the siblings disrespect for their mother,” Limuel Oliverio, MALTU Rural Transit of Mindanao Inc. president, said. This is in violation of the Fifth Commandment for one to honor one’s father and mother, he said.
‘WE STARTED FROM SCRATCH’
Last year, Olivia sued Roy, Emily, Celina and Ricardo Jr. to demand her conjugal half and hereditary share to their multi-billion transportation empire that she co-owned with her late husband, Ricardo Yanson Sr., after she was informed that she no longer was a part of their companies’ operations.
“For the record, my lawyers are armed with proof to show that your depriving me of my conjugal half, and my waiver of my hereditary share in the estate of your late father, is nothing short of illegal and invalid. In fact there is a status quo order of the honorable court directing that all transfers of real properties be held in abeyance,” Olivia said in a letter to her daughter Celina.
“I put on record the fact that you and your siblings have the obligation of proving to the court where the Civil Case No. 18-15199 is pending, that indeed you have the majority of the board…I hold the contrary view, for many reasons, not the least of which is that our businesses came from the endeavors, not of any of you, but of me and your late father. You came into the business full grown, so to speak, but I and your father started the business from scratch. How can you now allege majority, apparently excluding me?” Olivia asked.
WON’T STEP DOWN
Leo Rey has refused to step down as president and CEO of the Yanson bus firms saying he and five vice presidents were illegally replaced by his four siblings in an illegally held special board meeting Sunday.
Hernani Braza, PACIWU- TUCP national president, said the bulk of the bus firms employees remain loyal to Leo Rey,and are urging the Yanson family to resolve their differences to ensure their company’s peace and stability.
He said even president Rodrigo Duterte, a family friend of the Yansons, tried to settle the dispute among the siblings and their mother for about five times, but failed.
That is why the unions are now intervening to urge Olivia and her children to settle their differences, they hope their hearts will be touched by the cry of their employees who have been instrumental in the growth of their bus empire, Braza said.
“We are appealing to the Yanson siblings to rise above their own interests and to look into the interest of the survival of this company and also for the workers and their families who are dependent on this company,” Ares said.
“We are toying with the idea of us, the unions, going personally to the board to plead that this would be resolved as soon as possible before things worsen,” he said.
He said they have put up tarpaulins to express their love and unqualified support for Olivia and Leo Reyat all branches and on buses in Mindanao.
Franny Santarin, president of the PACIWU-Vallacar Transit Inc., said they are standing by Olivia because, through the years, she has shown her compassion for the workers of the bus company.
Oliverio, Gery Jamotillo - MALTU Mindanao Starbus Transport Inc. president, Edgar Allan Aquino - MALTU Bachelor Express Inc. Butuan Branch, and Arlan Macasa - MALTU Bachelor Express Inc. Davao chapter head, also said they were giving their 101 percent support to Olivia and Leo Rey, and are calling for a peaceful settlement of the family feud.*
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