A Bacolod Regional Trial Court judge has dismissed the civil case filed by billionaire Olivia V. Yanson (OVY) against her four children for the annulment of the extra judicial settlement (EJS) of the estate of her late husband, Dr. Ricardo B. Yanson Sr., founder of the Yanson Group of Bus Companies (YGBC).
Bacolod RTC Branch 42 Judge Maria Lina Gonzaga, in her order dated October 2 ruled that “the complaint is, as it should be , ordered dismissed without prejudice”.
OVY had lodged the civil case for the annulment of the EJS against her four children – Roy, Emily, Celina and Ricardo Jr., also know as the Yanson 4, who in a press statement on Sunday, Dec. 3, called the court’s ruling “a big victory”.
The dismissal of Civil Case No. 18-15199 or OVY’s challenge to the legality and validity of the EJS means that she and her faction, which includes their siblings Leo Rey Yanson and Ginnette Y. Dumancas, had failed to invalidate the EJS Deeds, the Yanson 4 said in their statement sent by the Fortun, Narvasa and Salazar Law Office.
Consequently, the Yanson 4 remain the majority shareholders of the Yanson bus corporations and particularly, Vallacar Transit Inc., with ownership of 61.17 percent of the latter’s shares. With this new development, it becomes clear that all cases filed against the Y4, including those brought in the name of Vallacar Transit Inc. against the four siblings like qualified theft of company properties and carnapping of company vehicles filed by persons authorized by Olivia, Leo Rey, and Ginnette in their meetings, have no legal basis, the press statement said.
As majority the Y4 are legally entitled to the control and management of the operations of their father’s legacy the YGBC, it said.
Dr. Ricardo B. Yanson Sr., the founder of the YGBC, died without leaving a will on Oct. 25, 2015.
Subsequently, his compulsory heirs OVY and their six children, executed an EJS of his estate on Dec. 16, 2015, which was amended on Dec. 20, 2017 to include all existing properties not found in the first EJS in order to partition and distribute RBY’s entire estate among themselves.
On Oct. 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 Yanson siblings, the Y4 statement said.
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 siblings in a mutually reciprocal exchange of rights, the Y4 statement said.
In short, OVY relinquished all her shares in the YGBC in favor of her six children wherein the Yanson 4’s combined ownership of shares in the YGBC, that of Roy, Emily, Celina and Ricky, soared to 61.17 percent thereby making them the majority shareholders, it added.
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.
OVY petitioned the court on October 9, 2018 to nullify the extra-judicial partition and distribution and recover her shares in the YGBC, the Y4 statement said.
The Y4 vehemently opposed this petition as OVY was of sound mind when she freely and voluntarily relinquished her shares neither was she under duress or coerced to do so, the statement said.
The case pended in the court for many years especially during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak which shutdown court operations.
In the meantime, due to some management and trust issues and asserting their being majority, the Y4 replaced Leo Rey as president of the YGBC on July 7, 2019, their statement said.
The delay in the trial of the case was primarily due to the filing of amendments of the complaint and several motions by the lawyers of OVY, it said.
Finally on Oct. 2, 2023, the Regional Trial Court Branch 42 judge dismissed OVY’s petition noting the latter’s and her lawyers’ proclivity to trifle with court processes, the statement added.
The judge noted that OVY and her lawyers filed an amended complaint on October 11, 2018 only to be amended by a second complaint on September 25, 2019, yet on September 25, 2023 subsequently moved to withdraw the second amended complaint (September 25, 2019) and to continue the proceedings under the first amended complaint (October 11, 2018).
Furthermore, “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 years excluding the pandemic years due to the fault of OVY and counsels. Justice delayed is justice denied”, the statement said.*