Kazuo Okada denies “violent invasion” of Okada Manila

Kazuo Okada says he is preparing a lawsuit against Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment director Hajime Tokuda.
Kazuo Okada says he is preparing a lawsuit against Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment director Hajime Tokuda.

The Japanese billionaire has made his first public statement since his controversial return to Okada Manila.

The Philippines.- Kazuo Okada has issued a statement denying allegations that he led an “illegal and violent invasion” of Okada Manila. Tiger Resort Leisure Entertainment Inc (TRLEI) and Universal Entertainment Corp claimed that a group linked to the Japanese billionaire used brute force and intimidation to take control of the casino at the end of May.

However, Okada argues in his statement that the Supreme Court of the Philippines had issued a Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO), which ordered that the status quo prevailing before his removal as a stockholder, director, chairman and CEO of TRLEI in 2017 be maintained. That, he says, restores him as the sole representative of Tiger Resort Asia Limited (TRAL). 

Okada claims the SQAO authorises the action taken on May 31 when a group led by former board member Tonyboy Cojuangco arrived with about 50 private guards and police officers to take over the Okada Manila complex.

He says the group negotiated with Hajime Tokuda, who was present at the time. He said: “During the negotiation process, there were no slanderous or violent acts, and we presented the Supreme Court’s decision and proceeded with peaceful discussions. 

“Tokuda peacefully surrendered his ID and left the conference room. However, when Tokuda’s lawyers, led by Atty. Estrella Elamparo, arrived outside the conference room, they intentionally shouted and made it seem as if we were violent, intentionally making it seem as if there was a dispute.”

After Tokuda and his colleagues refused to leave the complex, Okada said he was carried out of the property and driven home. Surveillance cameras at Okada’s Manila compound fully captured the dispute, Okada said.

He said extreme remarks referring to an illegal violent invasion, occupation of territory and kidnapping have been taken up by Universal’s Investor Relations report. Okada said he is preparing to file a lawsuit against Tokuda for what he considers to be a violation of the Supreme Court’s order. 

He said: “I created Okada Manila with a dream, but I was kicked out right after the opening. I would like to thank the people of the Philippines and the Supreme Court for giving me another chance to make ‘my dream’ come true.”

See also: Universal says Okada Manila bank accounts frozen

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