Yanson matriarch scores daughter over cash matters

Olivia Yanson

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The matriarch of the Yanson Group of Bus Companies (YGBC) slammed her daughter who questioned the propriety of the P11.8- million cash withdrawals made by “ousted” president Leo Rey Yanson in early June 2019.

In a statement sent to media outfits here on Monday, Olivia Yanson instead turned the tables on her daughter Ma. Lourdes Celina Y. Lopez, YGBC chief finance officer, by accusing the latter of allegedly mishandling company funds.

Olivia said a top notch audit firm confirmed that Celina still has to liquidate P380 million in cash disbursement apart from the additional P46 million that is also missing.

“It’s clearly a diversionary tactic. She herself [Celina] has P380 million to answer for as confirmed by one of the largest and respected audit firms in the country. I just hope she would be able to account for that amount, “the Yanson matriarch said.

“The public and all Ceres stakeholders should be aware of her attempts to hide the real issue,” she said.

The controversy hounding the family-owned transport company, the biggest in Southeast Asia, enters its second week.

Over a two-year period covering 2017 until mid 2019, Olivia said Celina and Treasury division still have to liquidate revolving funds amounting to P146.14 million as the company’s income in Luzon, Mindanao and Panay areas.

“This shows that her liability is much bigger than the audit had reported earlier. It’s a staggering amount. It’s now more than P500 million. This should be looked into as this is tantamount to defrauding or a serious attempt to defraud the corporation,” Olivia said.

In a separate statement, company president Leo Rey Yanson dismissed his sister’s claims on his alleged imprudent withdrawal, pointing out that his action had Celina’s concurrence as chief finance officer.

“Please tell the truth. Don’t use diversionary tactics to hide the much bigger financial mess that you put yourself into and may cause far-reaching damage to the company that our parents had worked on tirelessly in their lifetime,” Leo Rey said.

Leo Rey did not give details how the P11.8 million cash withdrawals, of which P8.5 million was charged versus the miscellaneous expense, but company insiders said the firm’s head honcho used the amount as employees’ incentives and raffle prizes during a company-wide assembly recently.

“The withdrawal was not an imprudent action,” Leo Rey said, adding that when he took over the leadership of the corporation from his father, the late philanthropist Ricardo B. Yanson, about 10 years ago “we were only earning so much”.

“Under my watch, our company has grown to an exponential 300 percent by conservative estimates. All businesses have risks, and while you sit down in your office counting our hard-earned income, I, on the other hand, motivate employees, move resources and exert all possible efforts to beat last year’s performance, take constant risks in my decision-making, thus, absorbing all the blame in running the day-to-day operations of this company…our company’s growth can attest to the simple fact that the risks I took for the company have paid off well for us,” Leo Rey told Celina.

“Whatever LRY withdraws, it always goes to a noble purpose. That includes funding activities that will boost employees’ morale in the form of generous prizes and financial assistance. He has a big heart for the rank and file and even for company officers like his parents,” a company executive, who requested anonymity, said.



Olivia, on the other hand, scored attempts by her daughter Celina as she called on her to respond to the bigger issue as to how she and her department will answer for the P380 million  plus the newly discovered P146.14 million amount she failed to properly account for up to today.

The amount in question, the audit showed, was said to have been spent by Celina for unspecified “purchases in Manila”.

“While you speak of measures to protect the company from unexplained and unliquidated expenses that would eventually pull the company down, you conveniently forgot or omitted the obvious fact that sometime in May 2018, your division, the Finance Division, of which you are the Chief Finance Officer, was and continues to be unable to explain the loss of P380 million, more or less,” Olivia pointed out.

“The truth,” Olivia said, “is that Celina and company will not honor the results of the 2018 internal audit that uncovered the huge amount in question so that they tapped the services of external auditing firm, SGV, whose findings were similar.”

“And earlier today, it was found out that there’s this additional unliquidated revolving fund reaching P146 million,” she added.

“She cannot deny this. She should not lie because the findings of external audit firm which they hired and that of our internal audit were the same. In fact, before it was released, Celina called on the internal audit team to influence its report in her favor as top management is usually provided the draft in advance. She doesn’t like the report and she wanted it manipulated,” the matriarch added.

Olivia, at the same time, allayed fears of a possible strike at the bus firm as she told employees that the operations are on a status quo and that no employees will be put to a disadvantage.

“Just go on with your usual day-to-day routine. Let me and Leo Rey and our competent company executives manage the internal problems,” she assured YGBC employees.