Makati court suspends criminal proceedings vs. Yanson 4 lawyer

The Metropolitan Trial Court of Makati granted a motion filed by Anna Isabella Galvez, lawyer for the Yanson 4, for the suspension of proceedings and to hold warrants of arrest issued against her in abeyance, lawyer Carlo Joaquin Narvasa said in a press release Friday, October 29.

The Office of the City Prosecutor of Makati (OCP Makati) had indicted Galvez, the assistant corporate secretary of the Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI) faction of the Yanson 4 for “falsification of public documents and perjury”.

Recommended bail for Galvez was P36,000 for falsification and P18,000 for perjury.

The resolution stemmed from a complaint filed by Olivia Yanson and Leo Rey Yanson against Galvez alleging that as “purported” VTI assistant corporate secretary she falsified declarations in the General Information Sheet of VTI for 2020.

Narvasa said Galvez is part of the law firm Fortun, Narvasa & Salazar that represents the four Yanson siblings – Roy, Emily Ricardo and Celina in their family intra-corporate dispute.

In a Resolution dated October 28, Judge Xavier del Castillo confirmed the existence of a prejudicial question in a separate civil action before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City, which is determinative of the guilt or innocence of the Galvez in the criminal cases and must thus be resolved first before the criminal action can proceed, Narvasa said.

Del Castillo ruled that should the RTC of Bacolod City find that the July 7, 2019 Board Meeting of VTI was valid, including the resolutions and corporate actions adopted by its board of directors at the said meeting and thereafter, it would follow that the statements made by Galvez in the company’s 2020 General Information Sheet filed with the SEC are truthful. Thus, there could be no falsification of a public document.

Similarly, if the July 7, 2019 VTI Board Meeting is upheld by the RTC of Bacolod, Galvez and the Yanson 4 cannot be considered to have made a willful assertion of falsehood and for Perjury to be committed by them, he said.

Del Castillo then said that both criminal actions for falsification and perjury hinge on the final determination by the Bacolod court of the pending intra-corporate suit between the warring Yanson factions in Commercial Court Case No. 19-119, Narvasa pointed out.

To avoid conflicting decisions between two courts, it is proper to suspend the proceedings before him until the intra-corporate issues are resolved pursuant to Section 6 and 7, Rule 111 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, he said.

Norman Golez, lawyer of Leo Rey and Olivia Yanson, in response to Narvasa’s press release said that there is Commercial Case No. 19-119 involving VTI and the Yansons.

The July 7 2019 Special Board Meeting has no bearing in the Criminal Case No. R-MKT-21-03492-CR and R-MKT-21-03493-CR against Galvez because the subject matter of those cases is the falsified 2020 General Information Sheet of Vallacar resulting from the illegal 2020 annual meeting held by Y4, he said.

“The 2019 GIS involving the 2019 meeting is subject of other falsification and perjury cases, against Emily Yanson. And, in those nine cases, MTC Bacolod denied Emily Yanson’s motion to suspend proceedings and held there is no prejudicial question,” Golez added.

All the intra corporate cases filed by Y4 have been summarily dismissed by various RTCs either for lack of merit or forum shopping including the one where they questioned Leo Rey’s presidency, he said.

“Judge Del Castillo obviously did not fully grasp the facts of the controversy because out of the 12 related Falsification and Perjury cases, he is the only one who found the existence of a prejudicial question,” Golez said.

Galvez was found to have falsified and perjured in the 2020 GIS and so, the 2019 meetings including the July 7 meeting are all not relevant in this case, he said.*

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