Thursday 22 August
Jun 17, 2018 @ 18:55

Tiger Resorts not giving up on $10M estafa case vs Okada; asks DOJ another probe on Japanese billionaire


Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI), the operator of Okada Manila, has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct another preliminary investigation or reverse the resolutions issued by the Para?aque City Prosecutor?s Office which dismissed the USD10-million estafa cases against gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada and his co-respondents.

In two separate motions, TRLEI asked the DOJ to instead indict Okada on the charges, saying that the dismissal of the complaints and the premature release or leakage to his camp of the resolutions that junked the charges violated its constitutional right to due process.

TRLEI complained that the pertinent portions of the resolutions issued by Para?aque City Prosecutor Amerhassan C. Paudac had been leaked and found their way to the social media accounts of Okada?s Korean girlfriend, Chloe Kim, on May 18.

TRLEI said it was only on May 30 or almost two weeks after Kim had posted the dispositive portions of the resolutions on social media that it received copies of resolutions signed by Paudac.

?The premature leakage, followed by the apparent ?rush to release? the assailed resolutions, coupled with the wrongful dispositions and resolution of these cases, are indicative of Paudac?s feared undue interest in the instant cases and which not only violate due process? but are grave administrative offenses,? TRLEI said in its motions.

It stressed that the leakage ?not only violated pertinent laws on public officers but also seriously damaged the credibility, independence, and integrity of the assailed resolutions as well as of the OCP (Office of the City Prosecutor)-Para?aque and, ultimately, City Prosecutor Paudac.?

?With due respect, the leaked assailed resolution(s) itself is the smoking gun that something irregular happened in the Office of the City Prosecutor of Para?aque City, headed by Paudac,? it lamented.

The controversy prompted Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra to order the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe into the circumstances surrounding the premature release or leakage of Paudac?s two resolutions.

Guevarra had said that ?premature disclosure of orders and resolutions prior to official release is not allowed unless there are compelling reasons that would sufficiently justify the same.?

On motion of TRLEI, Paudac inhibited himself from further handling the estafa charges.

But TRLEI, in its motions, said ?although the OCP-Paranaque had inhibited himself in its Resolution dated 28 May 2018, City Prosecutor, preempting the better judgment of the DOJ, even surprisingly stressed that the leaked assailed resolutions are ?maintained? when complainant at that time had not even received the assailed resolutions.?

In the first estafa case, TRLEI accused Okada of illegal disbursement of company funds amounting to USD3.1 million supposedly for his consultancy fees and salaries during his one-month tenure as CEO. Said disbursement was not authorized by the TRLEI board.

TRLEI alleged that Okada himself — within a span of just one month — caused the disbursement of the corporate funds through his accomplice, Takahiro Usui, who was then TRLEI president and chief operating officer and who was also named respondent in this complaint.

The second estafa case, on the other hand, involves the supply of light emitting diode (LED) fixtures to Okada Manila by Okada?s personal company, Aruze Philippines Manufacturing Inc (APMI).

TRLEI alleged that the USD7-million supply contract was given to APMI upon the behest of Okada, in conspiracy with his close associate, Kengo Takeda, who was the former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of TRLEI.

The vacating or setting aside of the Paudac resolutions is not unprecedented, TRLEI said.

?Recently, this Honorable Department vacated the Resolution of the original panel of investigators dismissing the criminal complaint against Peter Lim and Kerwin Espinosa, et al, for alleged drug-related offenses,? it said.

At the same time, TRLEI pointed out that the ?DOJ Secretary is empowered under Section 4 of Republic Act No. 10071 (Prosecution Service Act of 2010) to act directly on any matter involving? probable miscarriage of justice within the jurisdiction of ? the city prosecutor.?

TRLEI said that in criminal cases, ?judgments may be set aside or vacated when there is evident bias and gross partiality in favor of the accused on the part of the prosecutor or the judge? as it cited long line of Supreme Court decisions.

?In the instant cases, complainant?s due process right, as shown by the leak of the assailed resolutions? in advance of their official release, was gravely violated because circumstances suggest that City Prosecutor Paudac is not impartial, and does not appear impartial,? it said.

?Worse, in one of the assailed resolutions, the OCP Para?aque wrongly ruled on matters not apt for preliminary investigation and unduly arrogated unto itself the functions of the court,? it said.

It assailed the OCP Paranaque for committing grave error in not finding probable cause to indict the respondents of estafa, ?when the complainant has sufficiently shown that all elements of estafa under the Revised Penal Code are present where the respondents conspired with each other to commit estafa ?by means of deceit.?

?Complainant respectfully submits that the instant case is a golden opportunity for this Honorable Department to correct a grave injustice committed against complainant, perpetrated by respondents, and seemingly abetted by the OCP Para?aque,? the TRLEI said, as it urged the DOJ to ?carry out its thrust to restore its dignified and respectable image.?

Aside from the cases filed in the Philippines, Okada is also facing a string of cases in South Korea, Hong Kong and Tokyo, Japan. (PNA)

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