THE Bacolod Regional Trial Court (RTC) suspended the criminal proceedings against Ricardo Yanson, Jr. and held in abeyance the issuance of arrest warrant, lawyer Carlo Joaquin Narvasa, council of the four Yanson siblings, said.
Narvasa, in a statement, said Ricardo Jr., who is allied with Roy, Emily, and Celina Yanson-Lopez or the Y4, filed a Petition for Certiorari assailing the orders of the Bacolod Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) Br. 7 finding probable cause and issuing an arrest warrant against him. He claimed that the MTC completely disregarded the fact that a prejudicial question exists on who the rightful majority shareholders and managers of Vallacar Transit, Inc. (VTI) are.
In granting the Petition for Certiorari, Branch 45 of the RTC of Bacolod City in its order dated March 1, 2021, confirmed that a prejudicial question indeed existed as there was a pending issue in a prior case before Branch 53 that must first be resolved before the criminal case against him may proceed, Narvasa said.
The resolution of that issue would determine the guilt or innocence of the accused in the criminal case, the lawyer said.
He further said the existence of a prejudicial question necessitates the suspension of the criminal proceedings and any issuance of warrants of arrest would be premature, hence, void.
Narvasa also stressed that the reason for the rule, the Court clarified, is to avoid conflicting decisions between two courts.
t ruled that RTC Br. 53, which has jurisdiction over the intra-corporate case involving control of Vallacar Transit Inc., must first resolve the validity of the ouster of Leo Rey Yanson before any criminal case can proceed against Ricardo Jr. Then, too, the propriety of the authority of the party who caused the filing of the criminal case against Ricardo Jr. is linked to the resolution of the intra-corporate case. If Branch 53 finds the Y4’s action in removing Leo Rey Yanson justified, then the criminal suits filed against them by persons who took authority to do so from Leo Rey will also be void.
"Thus, it annulled and set aside the orders of the MTC Br. 7 and ordered that the proceedings in the criminal case against the Y4 be held in abeyance pending the resolution of the prejudicial question issue before RTC Branch 53 in the intra-corporate case over the control of VTI," Narvasa said.