THE four siblings of the Yanson family maintain their innocence relative to the case for grave coercion filed against them.
In a press statement, lawyer Carlo Joaquin Narvasa, lawyer for Ricardo Yanson Jr., Roy Yanson, Emily Yanson and Ma. Lourdes Celina Lopez (the "Y4"), said the criminal complaint against his clients was not authorized to be filed by VTI whose management is still being questioned before the Bacolod Regional Trial Court, Branch 53, in a petition filed in December 2019.
The Y4, through their lawyer, came out with a statement after a hearing was held last week for grave coercion case filed against the Y4 before Judge Abraham Bayona of the Bacolod Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 7.
Narvasa further explained that the issuance of a warrant of arrest, if any is forthcoming, does not at all detract from the presumption of innocence they enjoy as an accused in any criminal case, an entitlement which is a basic constitutional right. It also is a bailable offense.
Narvasa also revealed that during the proceedings before MTC Branch 7, the court disallowed the participation of lawyers Gerry Llena, Jubert Katalbas, Maria Corazon Katalbas and Lennon Corgus as private prosecutors and stopped them from speaking on complainant's behalf.
The prosecutors from the Office of the City Prosecutor of Bacolod City explained that their office had not given Llena and his group any authority to appear and act for the government in the case against the Y4.
However, the motion to hold in abeyance the issuance of a warrant of arrest filed by the Yanson 4 camp relative to the grave coercion case filed against them was not granted by the court.
This was confirmed by lawyer Jerry Llena, who is part of the legal counsel of Leo Rey Yanson (LRY).
Llena said all issues raised by the respondents' lawyers were practically denied by the judge during the hearing via teleconference on Friday.
"After the judge issued the warrant of arrest, the next move will be for the sheriff to serve it to the arresting authorities," he added.
The warrant of arrest was issued by Judge Abraham Bayona of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch 7 in Bacolod City against Yanson siblings Emily, Ricardo Jr., Roy and Ma. Lourdes Celina.
Also named in the warrant of arrest dated March 10, 2020 are Jerica Ramos, Jerina Ramos, Ma. Judy Alcala, Police Brigadier General Noli Romana, and Police Colonel Jomil John Trio.
The bail for the release of the accused is fixed at P36,000 each, it showed.
Llena recalled that the grave coercion filed against the four Yanson siblings and other respondents last year "for forcibly ousting LRY without judicial authority and taking over Vallacar Transit."
It has a "twin case" of violation to anti-carnapping law which is still pending at Branch 53, he added.