By: Francis Allan L. Angelo and Dolly Yasa
DID top-notch accounting firm Sycip, Gorres and Velayo (SGV) absolve one of the Yanson siblings on the P380 million that purportedly went missing from the coffers of Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI), operator of the Ceres Bus Liner?
According to Celina Yanson-Lopez, a stockholder of VTI, SGV cleared her of any liability on the alleged P380-million fund mess.
Celina along with siblings Roy, Emily, Ricardo Jr. (also known as Yanson 4) are locked in a protracted battle with their other siblings Leo Rey and Ginnette and mother Olivia over control of their multibillion-peso bus business.
Sigfrid Fortun, counsel for the Yanson 4, wrote SGV to clarify if its audit report on VTI indeed pinned down Celina as the one responsible for the reported missing funds.
SGV referred the matter to its counsel Poblador Bautista and Reyes Law Offices which replied in a letter dated Sept 10, 2019, that: “without disclosing the contents of its report, SGV can confirm that the report did not refer to Ms Yanson-Lopez as the person directly liable for the loss of the funds.”
The firm’s senior partner, Atty. Alexander J. Poblador and Atty. Deogracias G. Fellone both signed the letter on behalf of SGV.
According to a statement from the Yanson 4, SGV audited VTI’s financial transactions after Celina herself as chief finance officer “pushed for the investigation of several anomalous transactions reportedly made by VTI’s Manila Purchasing Office (MPO) sometime in 2018.”
“The cashier of the MPO allegedly made illicit encashments and withdrawals thru falsified and forged signed checks. The unauthorized transactions reportedly emanated from the MPO, which was then headed by the former company official who has since then been removed from his position. Sources say it was the responsibility of said former company official to identify and request procurements for the Yanson Group of Bus Companies,” the Yanson 4 statement said.
Norman Golez, lawyer of for VTI President and CEO Leo Rey Yanson refuted the claims of Celina.
“It is not true that SGV cleared Celina Yanson-Lopez (CYL) of any liability on the stolen fund mess,” Golez said in a statement released on Sept. 12.
“As reported, SGV’s counsel merely stated in its letter dated September 10, 2019 that ‘SGV can confirm that the Report did not refer to Ms Yanson-Lopez as the person DIRECTLY liable for the loss of the funds.’ To put it simply, liability may be incurred by someone who either directly or INDIRECTLY participated in the offense. If SGV really cleared CYL from liability for the stolen funds, then it shouldn’t have qualified its statement with the word ‘DIRECTLY’,” Golez said.
He added that what is very clear is that “during CYL’s term as treasurer/CFO, the P380 million was stolen and/or unaccounted for.”