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Friday, July 26, 2024

CA junks Kazuo Okada plea for TRO vs. PAGCOR

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The Court of Appeals (CA) has denied an urgent motion by Kazuo Okada for a temporary restraining order to stop the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.  (PAGCOR) from implementing its order affirming the state-run firm’s authority to regulate the gambling industry in the country.

The CA’s resolution issued last Wednesday effectively allowed the reinstated Okada Manila board of directors to continue exercising operational and management control of Okada Manila.

In denying Kazuo Okada’s motion, the appellate court recognized its limited capacity to receive evidence pertinent to the pending motion for reconsideration and clarification of the Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO) and to the main issue of Kazuo’s petition.

The PAGCOR order, which was guided by the Department of Justice (DOJ), maintained its their power and authority to act upon the issue as a regulatory board over all persons primarily engaged in gambling.

The order also asserted that the SQAO of the Supreme Court mandated only the return or Okada as a stockholder, director, chairman, and CEO of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI).

“We thank the Court of Appeals for seeing the wisdom behind the order of the PAGCOR on the implementation of the Supreme Court’s SQAO. This resolution empowered us to exercise our operational and management duties over Okada Manila,” lawyer Carlos Ocampo, legal counsel of Tiger Resort Asia Ltd. (TRAL), said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the board of directors of TRLEI conducted its regular meeting since it assumed control over operations and management of the property on September 2.

Okada, who was temporarily recognized as stockholder, chief executive officer, and chairman, was invited to the meeting. His invitation was in respect to the Supreme Court’s SQAO and PAGCOR order issued last Sept. 2.

Only Okada and his interpreter were allowed to enter Okada Manila. Tonyboy Cojuangco, Dindo Espeleta, and other members of the so-called “ousted illegally-constituted board” were barred from entering the facility.

Okada, however, did not join the board meeting in person or via video conference.

“The meeting was peacefully conducted,” according to Hans Van der Sande, chief finance officer and director of TRLEI.

“It was a successful exercise of our administrative and operational management to bring the business back into the normal course of operations,” he said.

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