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Feuding Families in Bacolod

What follows is the reporting about one particular feud. When it comes to feuding families in Bacolod, foreigners like me stand clear. I make no comments whatsoever except to express my sadness that a wonderful bus company’s superb reputation is being dragged through the mud. Sad!

It may help if you familiarize yourself with the main players involved:

The matriarch, Olivia Yanson,  or “OVY” to her friends and employees, tells of how she and her late husband, Ricardo Yanson Sr., built the transportation empire from a single 14-seater jeepney operation in the 1960s.

In that interview with the Inquirer, it was reported:

“While the company and its Ceres brand were already household names when Leo Rey was given its helm by his father in 2007, Olivia stressed that it was her youngest son (Leo Rey) who built the company into the transportation behemoth that it is today.”

The report added:

“But the boardroom coup executed swiftly two Sundays ago helped four older Yanson siblings take physical control of the company’s headquarters in Bacolod City, and with it, access to the computer systems vital to the operation of the firm’s buses and its operations in dealing with banks.

The sprawling facility is now secured by armed guards loyal to the new group.”

I first heard about this feud when someone said the local Ceres-Negros FC football team had been dragged into the feud.

Nanette Guadalquiver for the Philippine News Agency [Public domain]
The successful Bacolod-based football team is named after the Ceres bus company.  This is what the Sports Inquirer had to say:

“Former Asean champion Ceres-Negros FC may have set the bar for Philippine club football over the past three years, but its existence has been thrust as one of the key issues hurled against its owner in the battle for control over the country’s biggest bus company.

Club chair Leo Rey Yanson, who was ousted as president of Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI) in a boardroom coup last week, on Sunday insisted that he funds the country’s top football club using his own resources, disputing the allegations made by his older brother, Roy.”

The article continued:

“The older Yanson, who was installed as president of VTI by three other siblings, was seen in a video circulating online telling employees early last week that Leo Rey uses company funds for the team, which is named after one of the company’s bus lines. VTI has 18,000 employees and a fleet of 4,000 buses.

He amped up the tirade by saying that football players earn more than the VTI employees by “just simply kicking the ball.”

With Leo Rey at the helm, Ceres is already the country’s most successful club in just seven years of existence after winning the Asean zone title of the AFC Cup in 2017 on top of two AFC Champions League preliminary round appearances.

“Football is my passion and it’s sad and unfortunate that a team that has become a symbol of unity and a source of pride in the country and city has been dragged into this conflict,” Leo Rey told the Inquirer.

“My goal is to put the Philippines, especially Bacolod and Negros Occidental, on the map when it comes to football, that’s why we put our best foot forward every time we host matches and every time the team plays. I don’t need to justify how much I’m spending for the club because its my own personal money.” 


Report on the Negros Daily Bulletin Facebook Page

Yanson Feud Update:
RSY Issues Statements,
OVY Replies to RSY, Et al.


Your supporters have taken advantage of the crisis situation that you triggered because of your vested interests. It is unfortunate that even the personal belongings of our employees were stolen.

You are correct. There is nothing to audit because all the titles, OR, CR as well as employees’ records were taken purposely to sabotage the Vallacar Transit, Inc. operations. Aren’t you afraid of Karma?

When we entered the premises in the presence of the media, the reporters/editors/radio anchors have seen the extent of damage and ransacking activities that your supporters did to the Operations, Legal and Admin offices.

Prudence tells us that those who pledged loyalty to you would not commit illegal acts if you did not instruct them to do it. To be fair to you, we sought out media’s presence to document the actual scenario of the offices in the main building. It was beyond imagination and difficult to describe how the offices looked like as a result of looting?

Molotov cocktails, sharpened steel.pipes, axes, boga and bolos were uncovered by police operatives. I cannot overemphasize the extent of damage or harm they would have caused to innocent lives had their been wrong moves made that day. But God is good. He was there every step of the way to protect everyone.

You keep on invoking your father’s legacy for every misdeed you had committed. What kind of legacy are you talking about? Do you think your father will agree or condone your illegal acts? Is forcibly taking 51 Ceres buses and hiding them inside the Dynamic Builders compound and had their tires deflated still part of your father’s legacy? Because of your wrongful act, the riding public, which you are duty-bound to serve, was greatly inconvenienced. Your father was an honorable man. His standing and reputation in the community precedes his good name. And if he were around today, he won’t allow anything that will tarnish his image or that of his family.

For your children’s sake, I am appealing to you to stop all these lies. As parents, you have the responsibility to protect your children from malicious comments. If I don’t deserve your respect anymore at least respect your children. They have already become the laughing stock of the public because, sadly, their parents are consumed by their greed.

On your allegations that Leo Rey intends to sell the company and its properties, my question to you is: Why kill the goose that lays the golden eggs? Are you that simple minded? With the current improvements that he had initiated and with the income that has grown exponentially? You have benefitted tremendously from his hardwork and dedication. His indefatigable efforts made you jetsetters. But with your material success, however, you unfortunately have no culture.

The 15 branches have spoken. They only want Leo Rey to be their President. This is because they realized that Leo Rey has the heart for his people.

Have you ever asked yourself, Celina, why the Finance Managers did not follow your orders? You have been treating them very badly. You showed them how heartless you can get.

You are trying to mislead the public by telling them that you have the support of the 15 branches. If that is so, then why do people from the different
branches closing their gates and do not welcome any one of you?

I beg you to stop lying. People are laughing behind your backs. You have the money, take some rest and relax. Contemplate and pray harder. All you have to do is to be with friends who are honest. Avoid so called friends who are only thinking of their own selfish interests.* (PR)



We strongly condemn the recent illegal actions of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Provincial Regional Office Six (PRO 6) Regional Security Unit and PNP-CIDU 6 for using brute force against civilians inside our CERES South bus terminal and our Mansilingan corporate compound both in Bacolod City.

That highly public showing of brutality and violation of rights had only caused chaos, confusion, destruction of private property, and even led to a stoppage of our work operations. Hundreds of employees were prevented from doing their work by members of the city’s and regional police forces without any legal order to back their actions up.

For the PNP to use more than 300 of its heavily armed men from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) just to pressure our board members, Emily Yanson, Celina Yanson-Lopez, Ricky Yanson Jr. and myself to vacate our corporate offices smacks of political partisanship, misuse of armed power, and evidently, an abusive display of authority.

This will never deter us from our sincere desire to serve the riding public and protect the interests of our employees whom we always consider as part of the Yanson family. We stand firmly united in protecting and pursuing the legacy of the founder of this company, my father, the late Ricardo Yanson Sr.

We thank PNP Chief P/General Oscar Albayalde for condemning this unusual show of force of his provincial units and for calling for a probe. Let those who humiliated themselves by using their reposed powers as keepers of the peace be held criminally and administratively accountable and responsible for their highly partisan actions, as call for justice for what transpired last week.

There are masterminds behind this charade that used the PNP-CSG and SOSIA in accomplishing their dastardly plan which was to occupy our corporate offices, remove us from physically working there and to favor other parties using subversive tactics. These people behind these sad episodes thought that by publicly exhibiting their use of brutality, they will be able to change the way management is running this company.

While some may have physical possession of some of our corporate facilities, the control and management of our company remains with the Board of Directors who will continue to perform its functions for the welfare of our employees and the riding public.

We assure our employees that the Board will remain steadfast and resolute in our determination to continue serving them and the riding public. We have made this our life-long commitment to pursue the ideals and legacy of our father.

We call on all our employees to support the Board and its management. Let us not be distracted by these unfortunate incidents. Continue serving the riding public, giving them your utmost best, always.

We thank you for your loyalty, strong commitment to excellence and faith behind our management. Do not allow misguided forces or the police to prevent you from doing your jobs. Report those who do acts of discrimination to you and the rest of us. The Board will take immediate action against any person who will continue to subvert our company, violate our corporate policies and destroy our company values and culture as a people-oriented organisation.* (PR)


News Release:
Real reason for attack of VTI offices in Mansilingan bared

“LRY camp wants nothing more than sell VTI”

Leo Rey Yanson is hell-bent on selling Vallacar Bus Transit to the highest bidder which explains the use of brute force to occupy all terminals and even corporate headquarters in Mansilingan compound in Bacolod City. The camp of LRY wanted nothing more than to secure for themselves corporate documents which they would use in selling their father’s company.

This is the observation of Emily Yanson following false claims made by Leo Rey Yanson accusing his four siblings—Roy, Celina, Ricky and herself—of ransacking the corporate offices which reportedly led to the loss of important corporate documents.

In an interview by Inquirer business reporter Dax Lucas, ex-bus president Leo Rey claims that the camp of his brother Roy had ransacked the office and Leo Rey remarked that “So far, lots of important documents are missing like Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board franchise papers, land titles, case files, and finance documents, among others. They ransacked the entire office.”

Emily vehemently denies Leo Rey’s accusations. As vice president for administration and corporate secretary, it is Emily’s responsibility to secure and keep corporate papers.

“Why would we ransack our own offices and steal those documents which Leo Rey claims to be missing? We were occupying the offices for weeks now, and during this whole time, Leo Rey was even there, freely checking and spending his time leisurely as our director?”

“While Leo Rey claims that they will begin auditing these documents, he immediately claims that some documents are already missing? Ganun kabilis ang auditing na ginawa? Weekend pa? A liar is really caught by his own lies,” says Emily Yanson who suffered four grueling days inside their Mansilingan compound while 300 cops swarmed the gates, trying to pressure them to leave.

Emily Yanson now strongly believes that her youngest brother wanted nothing more than sell the company of her father.

“Remember, Leo Rey even remarked in his first interview with the Inquirer reporter Dax Lucas that he offered Roy to just break the company apart by a toss of a coin.”

“While we want nothing more than preserve this company, Leo Rey is subverting a company which he co-owns as a director for his own personal interests,” added Emily.

Emily, along with her two other siblings, decided to leave the compound to protect the lives of their employees after receiving reports that certain quarters were planning to inflict them physical harm and pin the violence on them or innocent employees inside the compound. The Yanson siblings also do not want other interest groups from overblowing the situation to their advantage.

“Yes, we left our corporate offices but it does not mean that we have given up the fight to continue the legacy of our father. They claimed victory, but for what? They may have occupied some of our offices and terminals but command and management of the company still rests on us, majority board members and the real owners of VTI,” Yanson adds.

For her part, Chief Financial Officer Celina Yanson-Lopez says that management control is not determined by physical invasion of one’s offices, but on corporate shares of stock.

“We remain the majority owners of the company. We have fifty five percent of this company. The only reason why we left our offices last Friday is the fact that we were exhausted already and we want to go back to our respective homes.”

“But, don’t underestimate our will and determination to see to it that this legacy which our father had left us is protected and in able hands. We are still holding the fort,” Yanson-Lopez adds.* (PR)

The article can be read here on the Negros Daily Bulletin Facebook page.

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