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DoJ issues lookout order vs Japanese gaming tycoon Okada

Friday, 23 March 2018 00:00 Published in Metro

The Department of Justice (DoJ) yesterday issued an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) against Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada in connection with the criminal complaint filed against him by Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI), the company behind the management of Okada Manila.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II directed Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente to instruct all immigration officers in the country’s airports and seaports to be on the lookout to prevent Okada from leaving the country without prior clearance from the DoJ.
Aguirre said considering the gravity of the charges, there is a “strong probability” that Okada may leave the country.
“We thus deem the issuance of an ILBO against the subject persons prudent in order to at least monitor the itineraries of their flight, travel and/or whereabouts,” Aguirre said.
A person subject to an ILBO can still leave the country subject to conditions and requirements, including clearance from the Justice department.
An ILBO is different from a court-issued hold departure order (HDO) since the former only directs the BI to be on the lookout for the subject and to verify the status of a case against the subject person and not to restrict an individual from leaving the country.
However, a person subject to the ILBO should seek an Allow Departure Order (ADO) from the DoJ chief to be allowed to leave.
Okada served as chief executive officer of TRLEI, the local subsidiary of Japanese firm Universal Entertainment Corporation (UEC) and owner and operator of casino resort-hotel Okada Manila, in April and May last year.
The TRLEI recently filed separate complaints for two counts of estafa against Okada before the Parañaque City Prosecutor’s Office and another charge for perjury before the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office.
TRLEI accused Okada of illegal disbursement of company funds amounting to more than $3 million supposedly for his consultancy fees and salaries during his one-month tenure as CEO.
“Mr. Okada, taking advantage of his power and influence, as then most senior officer of TRLEI, fraudulently received TRLEI’s corporate funds (of at least $3,158,835.62) as supposed salaries and consultancy fee, which were not authorized, much less approved, by TRLEI’s Board of Directors. As said corporate funds were wrongfully received or acquired by Mr. Okada without authority and through fraud, he held the $3,158,835.62, by operation of law, in trust for, and thus, under legal obligation to return the same to, TRLEI,” reads the complaint in the first estafa case.
TRLEI alleged that Okada himself—in a span of just one month—caused the disbursement of the corporate funds through his accomplice, Takahiro Usui, who was then TRLEI president and chief operating officer, and who was also named respondent in the complaint.
The complainant stressed there was “no Board resolution, approving or authorizing the payment of (such) astronomical sums to Mr. Okada, whether as consultancy fee or salary. It is clear that (these) amounts received by Mr. Okada were unlawfully disbursed as these were not authorized or approved by TRLEI Board of Directors.”
The second estafa case involves the supply of light emitting diode (LED) fixtures to Okada Manila by Okada’s personal company, Aruze Philippines Manufacturing Inc. (APMI).
TRLEI alleged the $7-million supply contract was given to APMI at the behest or insistence of Okada, in conspiracy with his close associate, Kengo Takeda, who was the former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of TRLEI.
The LED fixtures were later found to be defective and APMI turned out to be not authorized to engage in the manufacturing of lighting materials contrary to its claim.
The complaint stated that “the influence and intercession of Mr. Okada and Mr. Takeda pushed complainant TRLEI to engage respondent APMI’s services” and that Okada practically owned APMI so “any gains and benefits derived by APMI redounded to Mr. Okada’s personal benefit and advantage.”
TRLEI further accused Okada of conspiring with the other respondents and “made false pretenses or fraudulent representations as to Respondent APMI’s qualification, business and skill in manufacturing the aforementioned LED strips. They also similarly deceived Complainant TRLEI by selling products which they knew were not suitable for the purpose for which Complainant TRLEI purchased them.”
APMI and Takeda were named co-respondents of Okada in the second estafa case.
Okada, Usui and Takeda were ousted from their respective positions at TRLEI in June 2017 during an urgent special stockholders’ meeting.
Okada was removed as director, chairman and CEO while Usui, as director, president and COO. Takeda was removed as director and as chief yechnology officer.
In a perjury complaint, TRLEI said Okada and Usui made false statements under oath in their civil complaint questioning their ouster which was filed before the Paranaque City Regional Trial Court. Okada and Usui claimed TRLEI did not submit an updated General Information Sheet for 2017 before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). They also claimed TRLEI implemented a mass layoff of its employees and forced establishments inside the resort hotel to close shop.
But TRLEI said the claims were complete falsehoods because the company has in fact submitted the amended GIS for 2017 on July 3, 2017 and that there was no mass layoff of employees, instead more workers were being hired by Okada Manila. TRLEI also added that Okada Manila had not forced any business establishment to close shop.
TRLEI pointed out Okada and Usui were removed in June 2017 and “could not even enter the premises of Okada Manila. As such, Respondents Okada and Usui have had no personal involvement in the management of Okada Manila since their removal, and thus had no personal knowledge about Okada Manila’s present operations. Yet, respondents willfully and deliberately made the foregoing false statements, fully aware that they had no personal knowledge thereof or supporting documents therefore, as, indeed, these statements are completely perjurious.”
Okada had faced criminal charges for violation of the Anti-Dummy Law before the DoJ filed by the National Bureau of Investigation during the previous administration. But the case was not resolved and reportedly remanded to the NBI for reinvestigation.
Aside from the cases filed in the Philippines, Okada is also facing a string of cases in South Korea, Hong Kong and Tokyo, Japan. 

Detained former Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. filed anew a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking to stop the proceedings at the Sandiganbayan in connection with the P224.5-million plunder and graft cases filed against him for alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel.
In a seven-page manifestation and urgent motion for interim measures, Revilla reiterated his prayer for the SC to issue a writ of preliminary injunction or an order restraining further proceedings in his plunder case, particularly those for the reception of his evidence.
He said the Sandiganbayan has compelled him to present evidence for his defense, specifically against the 5,134 pieces of evidence it has admitted.
But Revilla said none of the 5,134 pieces of evidence has shown that the basic elements of plunder exists.
“Given these injudicious circumstances, petitioner was constrained to give up several trial dates out of the 60 dates allowed by the Sandiganbayan for him to present evidence and he is already in peril of losing all the dates allowed for his defense,” the motion dated March 16 stated.
He also asked the Tribunal to require the Sandiganbayan to comment and himself to reply to the anti-graft court’s pleading.
“Finally, to grant petitioner provisional liberty until the final disposition of the instant petition,” the motion said.
Revilla said he has been in detention since June 20, 2014 or 1,371 days which violates his right to due process, right to be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him and right to an impartial trial.
Revilla also asked the SC to set his earlier petition for certiorari in oral arguments.
Last January, Revilla already filed a petition before the SC accusing the Sandiganbayan of violating his constitutional rights.
Revilla told the SC while the anti-graft court has denied his motions, it has accepted all the evidence presented by the prosecution even if the evidence, he added, do not point directly to his alleged participation in the pork barrel scam.
The former senator explained under the law, plunder is supposed to be committed by a series of overt acts but that in the case filed against him, the prosecution failed to present evidence to show the overt acts he committed, except for his endorsement of the non-government organization of Janet Lim Napoles.
This, he stressed, does not identify or show the particular overt acts committed but rather describes an entire process within which those acts are to be found. Still, he said, the anti-graft court ignored these, proceeded to dismiss his motions and continued with the trial of his case.
Of the three former lawmakers charged in the pork barrel fund scam, Revilla is the only one left in detention at the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Revilla, together with former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, has been charged with plunder, a non-bailable offense along with alleged brains of the pork barrel scam Janet Lim-Napoles. All three have been detained in 2014.
However, both Enrile and Estrada were able to post bail for their temporary liberty. In 2015, the High Court allowed Enrile to post bail for humanitarian reasons while Estrada was allowed by the Sandiganbayan to post bail in 2017.
In August 2015, the SC granted the petition for bail of Enrile in the same plunder case with Napoles before the Sandiganbayan due to his “advanced age and poor health.”
The Sandiganbayan special fifth division granted Estrada’s plea last September. 

Although he had no idea who might succeed him as the next Chief Executive, President Duterte yesterday said if Vice President Leni Robredo joins the presidential race, she would make a “beautiful and young” president.
“Ako (Me), after three years aalis na ako (I will leave), I don’t know who’ll be the next President,” Duterte said in his speech during the graduation of Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) “Maragtas” Class of 2018 in Silang, Cavite.
Robredo, who was also among the officials present during the graduation, sat listening.
“But if the Vice President wins, then you’ll have a beautiful and a young President in this country,” Duterte said.
Robredo earlier had said she had no plans to seek re-election or even run for President.
In a television interview, she said being Vice President is already a privilege.
During the graduation rites, Duterte called Robredo “my lady.”
Duterte mentioned that he would love other opportunities to see Robredo in events where they’re both invited to attend.
Last Tuesday, during the 121st founding anniversary celebration of the Philippine Army, Duterte also joked to Robredo that she was one of the topics brought up in his recent Cabinet meeting.
“Natapos ho kami Ma’am ng three, ang pinag-usapan namin ikaw (We ended at around 3 p.m. Ma’am, we talked about you),” Duterte told Robredo.
Robredo was once part of the Duterte Cabinet, having served as housing chief but quit her post in December 2016 over political and ideological differences with the President.
Duterte, however, maintained that despite their differences, they remained friends.    


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