Disbarment raps for lawyer, a former client

By Floro L. Mercene

A former lawyer of Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada is facing disbarment charges for turning against him.

Okada filed disbarment case against Atty. Joemer Perez, former lawyer of his firm, Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment, Inc.(TRLEI).

Two of Perez’s associates would be included in the complaint, Okada’s camp said.

The Japanese billionaire, who was ousted as director and chairman of TRLEI, would ask the Supreme Court (SC) to discipline the three lawyers for conflict of interest and betrayal of trust and confidence.

Perez said the two others used to be the lawyers of Okada who handled several of his cases when he was still TRLEI chairman.

Okada had entrusted Perez with confidential information about his business interests in the Philippines. Okada later hired Perez to join TRLEI.

But when Okada was ousted from his post by TRLEI executives, Perez shifted his loyalty to Okada’s rivals.

Perez now handles the criminal cases filed against his former boss, including estafa and perjury charges that have already been dismissed by the prosecutor’s office.

Okada said Perez and his associates should be administratively penalized by the SC for handling the cases against him – in an apparent case of conflict of interest.

No further details on the disbarment case were divulged as the Integrated Bar of the Philippines commission on Bar discipline has a strict confidentiality rules.

Recently, a top executive of TRLEI was slapped with criminal charges filed by a manufacturing firm before the Parañaque City prosecutor’s office.

Aruze Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. (APMI), president Tetsuya Yokota, has recently filed perjury charges against TRLEI chief executive advisor Dindo Espeleta over the latter’s “false and malicious” accusations in the estafa case involving the supply of LED strip lights worth $4.5 million for the façade of casino-resort Okada Manila that was earlier dismissed by prosecutors.

The case was filed filed before the Parañaque City prosecutor’s office, where APMI accused Espeleta of three counts of perjury.

The complainant alleged that Espeleta committed perjury for claiming that he wasn’t aware that APMI will not supply the LED strips for the project.