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Parañaque prosecutor clears Okada of falsification charges

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THE Office of the City Prosecutor of Parañaque has dismissed for lack of evidence falsification of public documents and other deceit charges against Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada.

In a 13-page resolution dated Sept. 8 and sent to reporters on Sept. 15, Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Rhenie S. Reñido said that Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. (TRLEI) board member Hajime Tokuda, the complainant, failed to prove that Mr. Okada falsified a secretary’s certificate dated May 4.

“Having ruled that the respondents did not falsify the subject secretary’s certificate, the charge for the use of falsified document and/or other deceits must also be dismissed without further elaboration and explanation.”

Mr. Okada had been removed from TRLEI as a shareholder and company chairman due to alleged mismanagement.

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

Mr. Tokuda asserted in his complaint that Mr. Okada’s camp misrepresented themselves as legitimate board members of the company.

The Office of the City Prosecutor of Makati dismissed a similar complaint against the Japanese businessman’s camp last month, saying it found no probable cause to charge them with falsification of public documents.

The camp of Mr. Okada issued a statement in July 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 High Court upheld the SQAO order last month which reinstated Mr. Okada as chairman of Okada Manila.

Last week, the Court of Appeals affirmed the order of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) that ordered Mr. Okada and Antonio O. Cojuangco to stop disbursing Okada Manila’s funds.

The appellate court also ordered PAGCOR and TRAL to stop “performing any and all acts that interfere with, impede and obstruct” the proceedings related to the ownership dispute.

“Our opponents can continue to come up with trumped-up charges like this against us, but we will also continue to uphold our right to defend ourselves because the truth is on our side,” Mr. Okada said in a separate statement.

TRLEI’s Legal Counsel Estrella C. Elamparo did not immediately respond to a Viber message seeking comment. — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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