By: Modesto P. Sa-onoy
NOW we know that documents point to Rey Repollo and Rowena Sarona to be the two signatories of all checks issued by the Manila Purchasing Office of Vallacar Transit Inc. To recall, Repollo was usually out of the office so that he pre-signed the company checks and left it to Sarona to complete the two signatures required for disbursement. We now also know that Sarona had very wide discretion in the issuance of company checks because she approved the transactions, requested for funds, issued the checks and recorded the transactions.
Did Sarona or Repollo inform Leo Rey of the disbursements? Or did they intentionally keep him in the dark? For his sake, Leo Rey should answer this question whether he was aware of these expenses and what he did upon learning of it. Or did he keep a blind eye on what was happening?
Can we assume that Leo Rey had approved or allowed this system, with or without realizing its consequences? On the other hand, the documents did not show that he exercised control of the transactions although he could have issued instructions on who to pay for how much and for what. It is also possible that Leo Rey was not aware that funds were being waylaid but that indicts him for failure to manage that office as he should.
Unfortunately for him, would not his answers only underscore lack of competence or that he laid unquestioning reliance and trust on supposed to be loyal and dependable employees? Whether he was betrayed or not, his responsibility remains and he, for the sake of the family and the company, must tell the truth. And maybe, we hope, from there reconciliation can begin and put all these recriminations behind them.
How did the MPO mess happen?
Yesterday, I mentioned that there was a system of control but the MPO did not follow the system but developed its own. The documents did not say whether the system of allowing pre-signed checks and leaving them to the cashier who is also a co-signatory was authorized by Bacolod or the board.
What the documents say was that (1) MPO should file a “request for funding” (RF) from the main office in Bacolod for disbursements over P50,000 and that (2) a report of disbursements should be forwarded to Bacolod. This system was intended to ensure that the main office is aware of how much money MPO disbursed and for what.
The documents initially reveal that MPO had 277 transactions without any RF although these transactions were beyond P50,000. These transactions began in November 2015 and they involved millions of pesos. Bacolod approved these transactions.
Note that Ricardo B. Yanson, the patriarch of the company, died on October 2015, just before the unreported transactions began. And Leo Rey was president of the company at that time. Coincidences, perhaps? Or maybe a situation of a father no longer bearing on the youngest son to whom he placed his complete trust to keep the company in good shape and perpetuate his legacy?
Documents show that within the month of RBY’s death until January 2016, about P85 million worth of transactions were requested by MPO for funding from the Bacolod main office. In the succeeding months, almost on a regular basis, MPO requested for millions of pesos more.
When inquiries were made, the number of requests for funding and their corresponding amounts began to decline by May 2018. This means that the amounts cited here are not the total that the MPO must account for. If the transactions below P50,000 were added, we can expect either the facts behind the P380 million unaccounted fund is complete or could be more, or they cannot be explained.
In truth, Leo Rey is in the best position to explain the millions-worth of request for funding that the MPO asked. Or perhaps, Rey Repollo who is an ally of Leo Rey in this family feud can help, or even must help to clear the innocents though he might incriminate himself. A clear conscience is a good thing.
But that is hoping for the blue moon to appear. So, we must ask: who were the people or companies that received the money?
As I said earlier, there are documents on hand that will clear this mess. Let’s start with this tomorrow.