Causes of the Yanson family feud? – 2

By: Modesto P. Sa-onoy

LIKE Abraham Lincoln we trace the causes of the Yanson family feud “with malice towards none and charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right…” and paraphrasing  the US President, “to bind the wounds, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace” among the Yanson family. Unfortunately, the feud escalated.

There had been three major reasons that people theorized to have caused the feud – greed, sibling rivalry, and favoritism. They are, of course, related. The rivalry is the consequence of favoritism as it breeds jealousy that when this pent-up emotion is released or brought into the open, it creates disharmony. Rivalry also prompts one to be better than the others.

However, there is always a light that ignites the fuse. In this case, it is the report that came out in the news – the alleged fiscal anomalies in the company. The public thus asked: who among the children is culpable and if so, why should the mother “disinherit” some of her children by withdrawing what she voluntarily gave?

The public went into a frenzy of speculation. Who could it be since all of them have more than enough? I believe that one who has enough may not be content, but those who are content have enough. Under this premise, it is possible that some in the Yanson family are not content and would like to get more to the extent of engaging in “unexplained anomalies” and the mother demanding a return of whatever she gave them. What really are the reasons?

There were speculations about who took the company funds without the board’s consent. Last Friday I got the information that “LRY (Leo Rey Yanson) was terminated after he refused to explain before the board of directors the reasons why he withdrew millions of pesos without securing approval from the board dominated by his own siblings.”

While this information was sent out to the media, it did not appear in the Bacolod newspapers. Is there censorship to protect LRY? There was twisted logic in opinion columns, but the blackout of this vital information is another matter because here is the highest possible cause of all this feud.

Speculations were plenty because no name was initially mentioned. Now LRY is identified and his alleged refusal to explain led his siblings to withdraw their support for him. Since the four have the majority shares, that was tantamount to LRY’s ouster. Let’s talk about that ouster later.

I obliquely looked to a different question after the mother, Olivia Yanson had filed a case against her children to retrieve her shares in the company. Why would she take back what she already gave? Why should she have to go to court? Can’t she just retrieve the money or property from them silently? That she had to file a suit already indicated a serious family conflict and that the rift is so grave that caution was thrown into the wind.

There were reports that even President Rodrigo Duterte tried to mediate, but with all his influence the rift could not be healed. The bashing in public escalated.

I will not deal for the moment the issue of Olivia Yanson’s case to repossess her share because that is sub judice and the litigation might take 25 years, as RTC Judge Eduardo Sayson reportedly noted. If that be so, considering appeals and more appeals, will she survive her suit for even just ten years? With the tensions and stresses of this family conflict, will not her health be adversely affected? But she plodded on, in fact leading the battle against her four children who have dug in for a long and bitter fight.

I could not fathom the depth of the matriarch’s zealousness and marshaling of all her strength and political and financial connections in this fight. By chance, a friend with inside information told me a story that initially answered the question about the “anomalies”. This information was not mentioned in the news, then as now, since the conflict apparently preceded the case on the retrieval of the shares of stocks and LRY’s ouster.

Was that the trigger point, the “shot” of a conflict that reverberated throughout the country when it should have been kept in the silent confines of the family?

We’ll continue tomorrow.