DOJ forms panel to probe complaints in ‘forceful takeover’ of Okada Manila

Published June 20, 2022, 4:40 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog


The Department of Justice (DOJ) has formed a panel of prosecutors to conduct the preliminary investigation of the criminal complaints filed against those reportedly involved in the alleged forceful takeover of Okada Manila casino and hotel in Paranaque City last May 31.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Monday, June 20, the panel was constituted based on separate complaints filed last June 6 by three Okada executives — Universal Entertainment director and authorized representative Hajime Tokuda, a Japanese; Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. (TRLEI) co-vice chairperson and director Michiaki Satate, a Japanese; and member of TRLEI board of directors James G. Lorenzana.

He said the panel immediately started the preliminary investigation.

Named respondents in the complaints were gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada, Japanese nationals Tetsuya Yokota and Hiroshi Kawamura, Antonio O. Cojuangco, Dindo A. Espeleta, Maximo Modesto Josel C. Flores, lawyer Florentino “Binky Herrera III, Jose Nicolas of the A9 Security and Investigative Services, Inc., and security guards identified as Nolando GDIS, Jammag BB, Dunama JA, Mecatunggal AB, Salival BA, Sajucom JM, Tamang OM, Ramos MF, Afunay NB, Bulanan CA, SG Orsal DG, Salibul MA, Gabunfa BA, and Dawamom BA.

In his complaint, Tokuda accused the respondents of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, grave coercion, and unjust vexation in violation of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended.

Satate also accused the respondents of grave coercion and unjust vexation, while Lorenzana charged them with grave coercion and slight physical injuries.

They claimed that the 2021 Annual Return of OHL shows that “respondent Kazuo’s alleged ‘majority ownership’ of OHL and ‘beneficial ownership’ of TRLEI is patently false.”

They also alleged that Kazuo illegally called for a Special Stockholder’s Meeting and Organizational Meeting to install his own set of Board of Directors and Officers.

“I witnessed how the Kazuo Group took the law into their hands and employed brute force and intimidation to compel us, key officers of TRLEI, to yield control over Okada Manila. Not only did they harm and cause serious injuries against us – officers of TRLEI and our lawyers – the Kazuo Group have likewise targeted me by tormenting and depriving me of my liberty. I was forcefully carried out of the Golden Ballroom of Okada Manila and brought to an unknown vehicle,” Tokuda said.

Counter-affidavits of those charged in the complaints were not immediately available.