By: Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – The new management of Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI), operator of the Ceres buses all over the country, assured of smooth operations despite the raging family feud wracking the Yanson clan.
The feud came into open after Roy Yanson, the eldest son of the late VTI founder Ricardo B. Yanson, “ousted” their youngest sibling, Leo Rey Yanson, as president and CEO of the firm.
In a press statement distributed to media outlets on Sunday afternoon, 2019, Atty. Shiela Sison said that the board of directors of VTI “announces the appointment of Roy V. Yanson as its new company President effective immediately, replacing Leo Rey Yanson who will continue to serve as Director and member of the Board.”
The statement added that the change in leadership was the result of a special board meeting held Sunday where the board also replaced corporate officers “who will work with the new company President to ensure a smooth transition of the transport firm’s administration.”
But in a separate press statement, Leo Rey Yanson questioned the ouster.
“VTI, through its President and CEO Leo Rey V. Yanson, does not recognize the illegal actions of Roy V. Yanson, Emily V. Yanson, Ma. Lourdes Celina Y. Lopez and Ricardo Yanson Jr., among which is the election of Roy V. Yanson as the new President in an illegally held special meeting and illegally replacing five Vice Presidents without proper notice and only through a press statement,” the statement added.
Leo Rey claimed he was illegally removed as president in the said meeting.
Leo Rey’s statement also condemned what he claimed as the bringing of armed men inside the company premises “sowing unnecessary fear among the employees.”
“The act of the de facto President (Roy Yanson) will surely hamper the operations of the company and spread confusion among the employees,” Leo Rey added.
In a press conference this morning, Roy’s lawyers said that the election of the former as president followed procedures.
The board cited loss of trust and confidence as the reason for Leo Rey’s ouster.
FROM JEEP TO BUS FLEET
Based on its official website as curated by Wikipedia, VTI is the first subsidiary of the Yanson Group of Bus Companies. It started in 1968 with the brand Ceres Liner, which is named after the founder’s younger sister.
By 1980, Ceres Liner was covering the whole province of Negros.
The company was founded in 1968 by Ricardo B. Yanson (died October 25, 2015) and his wife, Olivia Villaflores Yanson, beginning with the purchase of one jeepney unit. This effort ultimately became a jeepney-assembly business.
In the early 1970s, the market was flooded with Ford Fieras; the couple decided to diversify into a small bus line which plied the Bacolod City-Valladolid-La Carlota route (hence, ValLaCar) and christened it as the Ceres Liner.
The Ceres Liner grew and expanded through the years. Their service had reached from Negros to the Visayan provinces of Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte and Samar, as well as Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga City in Mindanao.
In 2007, Ceres Liner’s Iloilo base pioneered travel between Iloilo City and Metro Manila through the Western Nautical Highway. Proving to be profitable, Yanson Group expanded its Metro Manila operations and later established Ceres Transport in 2009.
In 2016, Ceres Liner bought around 70 bus franchises from D’ Rough Riders Express. It then formed a new brand as Sugbo Transit which is named after the old name of Cebu, Sugbo. Currently, the said branding is under the management of Ceres Liner’s Cebu Base.