SGV clears Celina Yanson-Lopez on 380 M Funds Mess


Sycip, Gorres and Velayo (SGV) the country’s top accounting firm, thru their legal counsel, Poblador, Bautista and Reyes Law Office today cleared Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Celina Yanson-Lopez (CYL) of any liability on the alleged 380 million peso fund mess.

SGV made the clarification shortly after several reports were published from the camp of former VTI president Leo Rey Yanson and Yanson clan matriarch Olivia Yanson accusing CYL of dipping her fingers in the corporate cookie jar last 2018. The Yanson Four’s legal counsel, Atty. Sheila Sison, a partner in Fortun Narvasa & Salazar, had earlier described the accusations against her clients as untrue and baseless.

Incumbent VTI president Roy Yanson in an informal press con with Bacolod-based journalists said that the discovery of these funds mess might have led to the break which caused the recent squabble among members of the Yanson 4-dominated VTI board.

VTI President Roy Yanson

Disagreements between the clan’s matriarch Olivia and the Yanson siblings on how to treat those who committed the funds mess broke the once stable board into the majority block—Roy, Ricky, Celina and Emily and the minority led by Leo Rey and Ginnette Dumancas who sided with their mother who was the first to protest the filing of criminal charges against a former company official who was described as one of the matriarch’s pet employees.

From Left to Right: Ricky Yanson, VTI VP for Operations, Celina Yanson-Lopez, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Roy Yanson, VTI President

Acting upon the written request of Atty. Sigfrid Fortun, senior partner of Fortun Narvasa & Salazar and counsel of the Yanson majority namely, Roy, Ricky, Celina and Emily Yanson, SGV asked its legal counsel to provide a reply to Fortun’s inquiry and clarify if its audit report indeed refers to CYL as the one responsible for the reported missing funds.

In a letter dated September 10, 2019, Poblador Bautista and Reyes Law Offices clarified 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.

It was SGV that the Yansons asked to conduct an independent auditing probe after CYL herself as CFO 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.

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