Yanson Family Constitution– 6

By: Modesto P. Sa-onoy

IN THE aftermath of the expulsion of “Ceres Mart” and “Ceres Pasalubong” from all terminals and properties of the Yanson clan, a reported 200 employees lost their source of livelihood. Emily Yanson who owns the two establishments had no choice but to let them go. The expulsion of these businesses was without notice and in violation of the terms of their stay in the VTI terminals. Emily protested but complied nevertheless thus avoiding another unfortunate scene.

Was Olivia, Ginnette and Leo Roy happy with that? We suppose so though their action gives them no financial gain, only the pleasure of having inflicted harm to Emily. Fortunately, Emily can stand on her own because she has independent resources, but what of the displaced employees? They are victims of revenge for a fault not their own but only from the bitterness and vengefulness of the Yanson 3.

Article III, Section 12 of their Family Constitution provides that, “We believe in exercising that fairness and reasonable transparency in our business dealings with our employees, suppliers, business associates and most especially, members of our family.” This sentence is preceded by a declaration that the Yanson family should “uphold the good name of our Family in the business community.”

In both cases, Olivia and in this respect the Yanson 3 had tarnished their image. Indeed, if the administration of Leo Rey under the apparently monolithic control of Olivia could not deal with their family fairly and transparently, how can others trust them? Of course, it is easy to say that the family quarrel has nothing to do with their dealings with others but that is to misjudge public perception. Indeed, if they can junk the legacy of Ricardo what prevents them from doing the same to other people?

In the family constitution, Ricardo laid down the fundamental character of the Yanson family. In the provision about the family, the document said, “We will strive to have a closely-knit family united and bonded together through harmony, respect, love and understanding.”

Four years after his death his family had splintered, bitter at each other, strong-arming to get to control of the businesses and worst of all rejecting everything that he had hoped for after he had passed away. The constitution, meticulously prepared and agreed by all and expensive to produce with the participation of professionals, had been shredded. Would it have been better if there was no constitution upon which the actuations of the members are to be measured?

The first line of Ricardo’s message in the family constitution established the primary reason for this document. He said, “It is my earnest desire to build an institution whose integrity and discipline has no boundaries to which my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will inherit such legacy.”

He had hoped that the family members will be cohesive and united. In Article III, Section 8, is a simple but direct provision, “We will protect the name of the family and not destroy them in others.” What is happening is that they are destroying each other although from the incidents and media reports, the Yanson 3 appear primarily responsible in destroying the other members of the family before the public.

On the other hand, as I mentioned earlier, the Yanson 4 are merely reacting to the situation. They took control only after Leo Rey failed to explain the loss of a reported P380 million, they reacted only when Olivia demanded the return of her shares of stock and they gave in when the Yanson 3 mobilized over 300 policemen to remove Roy from the Mansilingan compound. And then the Yanson 3 resorted to media assaults that I found irrational and contrary to documents to swing public opinion to support the forcible takeover.

Even to this day, the Yanson 4 had not taken any aggressive action against the Yanson 3. I think they are biding their timebecause the law is on their side when the legal issue comes to the fore.

Two days from now, the Yansons will stand before the tomb of Ricardo. Can they tell him they have followed his “earnest desire” and lived up to the standards of “discipline and integrity” that theyagreed upon? Had they come up to his expectation and will be able to pass on to their next generation an unsullied family harmony?

Continued on Monday.