The Department of Justice dismissed as hearsay with inadmissible evidence the complaint affidavits filed by lawyer Sigfrid Fortun, on behalf of his clients, Yanson siblings Roy, Celina, Emily, and Ricardo Jr., or the Yanson 4, against their mother Olivia and siblings Jeanette and Leo Rey.
The DOJ dismissed the complaint for alleged perjury, falsification of public documents, and qualified theft in connection with the management of Rural Transit Mindanao Inc., Bachelor Express Inc., and Mindanao Star Bus Transport Inc. filed by the Yanson 4.
In a resolution dated April 27, 2022, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Philip dela Cruz denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Fortun challenging the DOJ Resolution dated October 18, 2021.
The 2021 resolution dismissed the charges filed by Fortun, the attorney-in-fact of the Yanson 4.
“Since the very complaint-affidavit executed by Attorney-in-Fact Atty. Sigfrid A. Fortun suffers from an inherent legal flaw or infirmity: hearsay and therefore inadmissible in evidence, there is no need to pass upon the other grounds raised by the former in his motion for reconsideration as the same adverse verdict must necessarily be rendered on said other arguments that are anchored on the same defective complaint-affidavit,” the DOJ said in its resolution on the motion for reconsideration.
The DOJ resolution added that with the failure by the Yanson 4 siblings, as complainants, to attend the preliminary investigation, the complaint-affidavit of Fortun should be “dismissed for being hearsay in nature”.
“A careful reading of the complaint-affidavit executed by Attorney-in-Fact Atty. Sigfrid A. Fortun would readily show that he did not attest that he was personally present during the events/incidents/happenings material in his complaint affidavit like the alleged board meetings, stockholders meetings, and the like. Such omission is fatal to his complaint as it is an elementary legal principle that hearsay evidence cannot be the basis of probable cause,” the DOJ said.
“What further confounds that matter is that complainants Roy V. Yanson, Emily V. Yanson, Ma. Lourdes Celina Yanson-Lopez, and Ricardo V. Yanson Jr. did not attend the preliminary investigation of this case. Due to their omission, the investigating prosecutor was deprived of the chance or opportunity to clarify from them whether the facts/events/incidents attributed to them by their attorney-in-fact are true,” it said.
The DOJ said that until the very end of the preliminary investigation, the allegations in the complaint-affidavit remain hearsay due to lack of corroboration and failure of the complainants to appear and confirm the veracity of the happening of the facts, as narrated by their attorney-in-fact./PR