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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, July 12, 2019
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Celina questions funds anomaly;
Ma wants P380M explained, too
BY CARLA P. GOMEZ

 

“Leo Rey Yanson, formerly president of Vallacar Transit Corporation, used the on-going family dispute to mask several millions of illicit fund withdrawals.”

This was claimed by Celina Yanson-Lopez, chief financial officer (CFO) of Vallacar Transit Corp., after the company allegedly discovered that their former president made several withdrawals amounting to millions of pesos without management approval, in a press release sent out by its media relations manager, Arnel Vasquez, yesterday.

As a company policy, an existing memorandum is being enforced to oversee the release of company funds. Under the memorandum, fund withdrawals require the approval of the board of directors, and the younger Yanson’s acts violated this company policy, the press release said.

Leo Rey in reply to a letter of Celina dated June 24 requesting him to explain the P11.8 million cash withdrawals charged to miscellaneous expense and personal account, cited Memorandum 201612-21 dated Dec. 21, 2017 co-signed by her and Jerica Ramos that affirms the inherent powers of the office of the president to allow miscellaneous transactions.

He was also only exercising a power exercised since their father was president, Leo Rey said, in his June 28 letter to Celina, a copy of which was furnished the media yesterday.

Out of the P11.8 million only P8.5 million was charged to the miscellaneous expense, he said, adding that the amount was used for the improvement of the morale and wellbeing of their employees.

“Our people made this company what it is today. On its face P8.5 million may seem like a substantial amount, but it is nowhere near the income we have earned from the hard work of our people. It is only right that we return to them as much as we can,” he said.

As to the P3.3 million difference, he said the amount was charged to his account and that of their mother, Olivia.

Leo Rey pointed out that, under his watch as president, the Yanson group of bus companies has grown by an exponential 300 percent by conservative estimates.

“All businesses have risks, and while you sit down in your offices counting our hard earned money, I, on the other hand, motivate employees, move resources, exert all possible efforts to beat last year’s performance, take constant risks in my decision making, thus absorbing all the blame in running the day-to-day operations of this company. It has been over a decade into my term, and our company’s growth can attest to the simple fact that risks I take for the company havepaid off well for us,” he wrote his sister.

FIRM ENDANGERED

However, Celina in the press release yesterday, said “This unauthorized act of the former Vallacar Transit president endangered the financial stability of the company, as this jeopardized the company’s most valued asset—its employees”.

A truckload of cash was allocated for salary payment and benefits of the company’s 18,000 employees, Yanson-Lopez also said.

Yanson-Lopez said the management discovered Leo Rey’s withdrawals only from June 1 to June 17 of this year. There is a possibility that the former company president had been doing the unauthorized withdrawals even before, she said in the press release.

Yanson-Lopez also said, “What is so unfair is that the removal of Leo Rey Yanson is being blamed for this alleged ongoing estate negotiations of our late father, Ricardo Yanson, the founder of our company. That is a separate matter.”

“Leo Rey was removed as president of the company for violating company rules on illegal withdrawal of funds that in turn affects the welfare of our employees. The management had investigated the matter and he was asked to explain. Unfortunately, he could not reasonably justify why he disbursed the missing funds without prior board approvals, then we needed to take action for the company and for its employees,” the press release quoted her as saying.

The company’s board of directors decided to change the roster of the management and appointed Roy Yanson as president and head of operations, Ma. Lourdes Celina Yanson- Lopez as treasurer and head of finance and management, information system, Emily Yanson as the corporate secretary and head of administration, Ricardo Yanson Jr. as the vice president for maintenance and lawyer Jose Jonathan Ealdama as vice president for legal, the press release said.

EXPLAIN P380M

Their mother, Olivia, in a letter to Celina dated June 25, a copy of which was also furnished the media yesterday, said that while she speaks of measures to protect the company from “unexplained and unliquidated expenses that would eventually pull the company down”, she conveniently omitted the fact that, sometime in May 2018, their company’s Finance Division which she heads, was unable to explain the loss of P380 million, more or less.

The doctrine of command responsibility ultimately rests upon the chief finance officer who, to date has neither explained the loss nor found ways to rectify the loss, Olivia said in her letter.

“Despite the internal and external audits conducted, you have continued to remain adamant in refusing to allow auditors the courtesy of full cooperation of your staff in order to get at the truth,” Olivia countered in her letter.*

 

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