BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Office of the City Prosecutor of Makati found probable cause against Atty. Anna Isabella Galvez for one count of falsification and one count of perjury in relation to the 2020 General Information Sheet (GIS) of Vallacar Transit, Inc. (VTI), despite its recognition of the existence and pendency of an intra-corporate dispute over the control of VTI, pending before the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod City, Atty. Carlo Joaquin Narvasa said in a statement he issued yesterday.
Galvez, who is the Assistant Corporate Secretary of VTI under Yanson siblings Emily, Celina, Ricardo Jr. and Roy, known as the Yanson 4; as reported by Narvasa, was charged for falsification of public documents and perjury by complainants Olivia Yanson and her son, Leo Rey.
The Office of the City Prosecutor of Makati has recommended the indictment of Galvez for falsification of public documents and perjury, with a total recommended bail of P54,000.
Under Republic Act No. 8799, Narvasa said it is the appropriate Regional Trial Courts that have jurisdiction to resolve intra-corporate disputes, and its existence directs the suspension of the preliminary investigation proceedings against an accused until proceedings on the intra-corporate issues are completed with finality.
In fact, in Mathay, et al., vs. People (G.R. No. 218964, June 30, 2020), a case recently decided by the Supreme Court, Narvasa said it ruled that before any court can delve into the question of whether there is probable cause to charge anyone with an offense, the threshold legal issue that needs to be addressed first is whether there is a prejudicial question that justifies suspension of criminal proceedings against a person indicted for a crime.
Narvasa stressed in his issued statement that the Supreme Court in the Mathay case ruled that a prejudicial question exists in a criminal case for falsification of public documents, when two pending civil cases involving ownership over the shares of a corporation, would determine whether the statements made in the GIS are true or absolutely false.
This is precisely the same question and issue in the case against Atty. Galvez, he added.
Narvasa claimed that the Office of the City Prosecutor of Makati did not heed the pronouncements of the High Court, and failed to apply its ruling to the case against Atty. Galvez despite its own confirmation that an intra-corporate dispute exists among the warring shareholders of VTI.
Those benefitted by the indictment of Atty. Galvez wisely suppressed important information that will render the Office of the Prosecutor Office Makati’s resolutions void, if not premature, he also said.*