The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed the carnapping charges against the siblings of the executive of one the country’s largest bus companies in connection with their family feud over control of their business.
“For the charge of carnapping, after evaluation of the evidence submitted by the opposing parties including affidavits of the witnesses, the undersigned is of the view and concludes that the evidence of the complainant is not sufficient to warrant a finding of probable cause and consequent indictment of the respondents for the crime of carnapping,” read the resolution released to the respondents on June 30 by Assistant State Prosecutor Eric Opriasa.
Orpiasa dismissed the charges of violating Republic Act 10883, the New Anti-Carnapping Act of 2016, that Bacolod-based bus company Vallacar Transit, Inc. (VIT), filed against 10 respondents including the sibling of its president Leo Rey Yanson, namely, Ricardo Jr., Roy, Emily, and Ma. Lourdes Celina Yanson-Lopez.
The other respondents also cleared of carnapping charges are Police Brig. Gen. Noli Romana, Col. Jomil John Trio, Mary Margarethe Rose Yanson, Riana Micole Yanson, Marcus Stefano Lacson, and Christopher Olric Yanson.
However, the prosecutor found probable cause to file charges in court against Ricardo after finding probable cause against him for grave coercion and violation of the Public Service Act.
“The rest of the respondents are absolved from any liability thereof for insufficiency of evidence and therefore, the charges against them are hereby dismissed,” the prosecutor pointed out.
VTI filed the complaint before the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office but Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra issued an October 15, 2019 an order which transferred the case to the DOJ main office in Manila.
The case concerns the attempt of the respondents to take over the company and its various offices.
Using a Philippine National Police-Supervisory Office on Security and Investigation Agencies (PNP-SOSIA) order issued by Romana, the security agency of the branch, Armored Guards Negros Security Agency (AGNSA), was forcibly replaced by guards from the A-Y Security Specialists, Inc.
This was stopped with another PNP-SOSIA order issued by Col. Michael John Dubria on July 17, 2019 which states that the previous order did not comply with PNP provisions and directed the reinstatement of AGNSA guards in all VIT offices.
The complaint was filed after it was discovered that 55 buses were missing since August 7, 2019. With the help of the PNP, VTI said the buses were recovered in the compound of Dynamic Builders whose board of directors include Ricardo, Mary, Riana, Christopher, and Marcus.
In dismissing the carnapping charges, Opriasa pointed out that “drivers and bus conductors of the complainant VTI categorically stated in their respective and separate affidavit that they went to Dynamic Builders to park their respective bus units for safety purposes…”
However, the prosecutor said the case showed that Ricardo committed grave coercion and violation of the Public Service Act when “Dynamic Builders failed to immediately release or turn-over the buses…”
“The acts of Dynamic Builders resulted in hampering the transport services being accorded by the complainant for two consecutive days from August 8 to 9, 2019, to the detriment of the riding public,” the prosecutor stated.