Prosecutor clears Okada of false documents charges

THE Office of the City Prosecutor of Makati has dismissed falsification of public documents, use of falsified documents, and other deceit charges against Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada filed by Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. (TRLEI) board member Hajime Tokuda.

In a 12-page resolution, Assistant Makati City Prosecutor Kristina Carmela G. So-Reyes said the evidence submitted by Mr. Tokuda did not show probable cause to charge Mr. Okada, who was removed from TRLEI as a shareholder and company chairman due to alleged mismanagement.

“Based on the evidence on record, this Office finds no probable cause to charge the respondents (Mr. Okada’s group) with the crime of falsification of public document under Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code,” she added. 

TRLEI is the company that operates the casino resort Okada Manila.

Mr. Tokuda alleged in his complaint that Mr. Okada and his group were deceitful when they informed BDO Unibank, Inc. that there were newly appointed signatories to the TRLEI bank accounts.

BDO then froze all bank accounts owned and maintained by TRLEI due to the controversy.

The camp of Mr. Okada issued a statement last month citing a Philippine Supreme Court ruling ordering a status quo ante order (SQAO) identifying him as the lone representative of Tiger Resort Asia Ltd. (TRAL), TRLEI’s parent company, which is registered in Hong Kong.

The group argued that the SQAO allowed Mr. Okada to fill vacancies on the board, and his actions were done in good faith to ensure that the casino resort was effectively managed.

In a statement, Okada Manila said the resolution issued by the Makati City prosecutor “is a testament that the Okada Group has done nothing illegal with respect to its recovery of Okada Manila.”

In the same statement, Mr. Okada said the decision showed that “the Justice system in the Philippines works and that justice will be served to those who always work within the bounds of the country’s legal system.”

TRLEI’s Legal Counsel Estrella C. Elamparo did not immediately respond when sought for comment. — John Victor D. Ordoñez