The attempt of Japanese billionaire and founder of the Okada Manila Casino Resort, Kazuo Okada, to throw away grave coercion charges has been discarded by a Philippines Metropolitan Trial Court judge.
Lawsuit Against Okada and his Group Moves Forward in Court
The lawsuit filed by Okada Manila Casino Resort operator Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI) is being moved forward by the Metropolitan Trial Court, which on October 18 discarded Okada’s motion to throw away the grave coercion charges.
According to the resolution issued by judge Hon. Placido O. Garcia III, “The information, in this case, is sufficient as regards both the offense charged and the alleged circumstance of conspiracy amongst the accused in committing the offense charged.”
The lawsuit filed by TRLEI is against Okada and the members of his group, Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco, Dindo Espeleta, and lawyer Florentino “Binky” Herrera, who on May 31, 2022, took control over the Okada Manila Casino Resort in a violent manner.
According to the Philippines law, all three parts of grave coercion are included in the lawsuit and are properly justified.
Following the legal proceedings, on October 24, the Philippine National Police arrested Kazuo Okada after he arrived at the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport traveling from Japan.
Preliminary legal hearings in connection with the grave coercion case are scheduled for October 28.
Okada’s Takeover of the Okada Manila Casino Resort and the Following Developments
At the end of May, Okada and his group entered the Okada Manila Casino Resort aided by 50 guards and policemen and backed by a status quo ante order (SQAO) issued by the Philippines Supreme Court. According to their interpretation of the SQAO, the TRLEI board of directors had to be reinstated to the composition it had back in 2017.
This effectively meant that the legitimate TRLEI board was ousted from the property and Okada and his group proclaimed themselves as members of the TRLEI board.
This then led to Tiger Resort Asia Limited (TRAL), which owns 99% of TRLEI, filing a motion for clarification disputing the violent takeover of Okada and his group.
Following the events of May 31, the legal owner of TRAL, which is Universal Entertainment Corp (UEC), filed a request with the Philippines Supreme Court to reverse the SQAO.
Eventually, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) also got involved and issued an order to Okada and his cohorts to relinquish the Okada Manila Casino Resort back to its legal owner TRAL.
Consequently, at the beginning of September, TRAL regained control over the resort and the ousted board of directors was reinstated.