Prosecutor general inhibits from handling Okada estafa raps

Published June 8, 2018, 2:31 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Jeffrey Damicog

Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr. has decided to inhibit himself from handling the $10-million estafa complaints against Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada.


Catalan today informed Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra that the Prosecutor General granted the motion of the complainant, Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI) to inhibit from the estafa cases.

“In view of the said Motion for our inhibition, we are refraining from taking action on these cases, much less recommend the designation of a prosecutor as Acting City Prosecutor of Parañaque City,” read Catalan’s memorandum that was received by Guevarra’s office yesterday.

In his memorandum, Catalan also told Guevarra that Parañaque City Prosecutor Amerhassan Paudac, who is handling complaints, is also “recusing his office from further proceeding with the preliminary investigation of the above-captioned cases.”

“According, we leave it to the sound discretion and judgment of the Secretary of Justice to cause the issuance of a department order for the designation of a member of the National Prosecution Service as Acting City Prosecutor of Parañaque to continue the preliminary investigation of the subject cases, vice City Prosecutor Amerhassan C. Paudac,” said the Prosecutor General.

TRLEI had earlier sought the Prosecutor General’s inhibition due to alleged bias of Catalan who, as concurrent Makati City Prosecutor, dismissed a perjury complaint filed against Okada that is also related to the estafa cases.

“Thus, complainant TRLEI seriously doubts that Prosecutor Catalan, if made to act in the captioned cases likewise involving the same parties and related issues, can act with the required objectivity and impartiality,” read TRLEI’s motion for inhibition.

Prior this, TRLEI had also sought Paudac’s inhibition for having shown partiality in favor of Okada.

TRLEI cited that a still to be released resolution of the estafa complaints have been leaked and posted on the social media accounts of Okada’s girlfriend, Korean Chloe Kim, stating that the cases have allegedly been dismissed.

“Kim already had a copy of, or had access to, the very same resolutions that complainant TRLEI’s counsel could not access from the Office of the City Prosecutor,” read TRLEI’s motion to inhibit Paudac.

“There is factual and legal basis to believe that City Prosecutor Paudac is biased and partial in favor of respondent Okada to the grave prejudice of complainant TRLEI,” it added.

TRLEI filed before the Parañaque Prosecutor’s Office two estafa complaints against Okada who is accused of allegedly embezzling over $10 million from the company’s funds from 2016 to 2017.

Because of the allegations, Okada got kicked out as chief executive officer of TRLEI by the majority shareholders.