Three banks have reportedly frozen the accounts of casino and entertainment facility Okada Manila following an ongoing intra-corporate dispute.
In a statement, Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI) legal counsel Estrella Elamparo said BDO Unibank Inc., Asia United Bank, and Union Bank of the Philippines have decided to freeze the accounts of Okada Manila.
Elamparo said the current situation could put not only the growth and sustainability plans of Okada Manila at risk but also the salaries of its employees.
TRLEI said BDO required the company, led by Hajime Takuda, Byron Yip, and the newly-constituted board led by Kazuo Okada, Antonio Cojuangco, and Dindo Espeleta to sign an agreement to distribute the salaries of Okada Manila employees.
“Despite being on the right side of the law, the legitimate board of TRLEI decided to draft and sign the agreement, understanding the welfare of the employees is at stake. However, the camp of Kazuo Okada was not keen on signing the agreement, imposing unreasonable conditions,” Elamparo said.
TRLEI said the current situation has forced the banks to file interpleader cases, asking the court to require both parties to interplead between themselves.
While Okada Manila may use the “cage money” or the revenues generated from operations of the casino and hotel to pay the salaries of its employees, Elamparo said those funds can only go so far and are expected to run dry soon.
”We expect Manila Okada’s funds to dwindle in the coming weeks, putting not only guests at the losing end, but at the same time putting at risk its over 5,000 employees, many of whom rely on their salaries to meet their daily needs,” Elamparo said.
TRLEI said its majority shareholder, Tiger Resorts Asia Ltd. (TRAL), also forwarded to relevant agencies and partners a certification that puts on record that it does not recognize Kazuo Okada or any of his appointed board members as new management.
TRAL also signified it will not be in the position to put in additional capital to fund the daily operations of Okada Manila and salaries of workers while legal proceedings are ongoing.