Universal accuses PAGCOR of ‘corruption and corruption’ for siding with Kazuo Okada Group in battle for Okada Manila

Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp (UEC), the parent company of Okada Manila Tiger Resort operator Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI), has accused Philippine gaming regulator PAGCOR of an “act of corruption” for taking the party of gambling tycoon Kazuo Okada in a corporate dispute over control of the integrated resort in the entertainment city of Manila.

He also released new video footage that appears to show TRLEI staff being forcibly evicted during a takeover of Okada Manila by representatives of Kazuo Okada last Tuesday – footage which he says contradicts reports. claims by PAGCOR Chairman Alfredo Lim that the takeover went “smoothly”.

New video that appears to show Mr. Hajime Tokuda, Director of Universal Entertainment, in Okada Manila shouting “itai, itai, itai” (痛い痛い痛いJapanese for “it hurts, it hurts, it hurts”) and “pain, pain, pain” in English.

As reported by Inside the Asian Gamethe forced takeover – which reportedly saw the Kazuo Okada group accompanied by around 50 private guards, officers from the Paranaque City Police and a sheriff from the Paranaque City Regional Trial Court – is came after the Supreme Court of the Philippines recently issued a Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO) to TRLEI ordering the composition of TRLEI’s Board of Directors to be restored to its 2017 composition, prior to the dispute that saw Kazuo Okada removed from the Board. UEC Board of Directors.

PAGCOR has since confirmed that it was also present at the time, having assigned a monitoring team to witness the incident “in order to protect the interests of PAGCOR and the government, and to ensure that operations do not are not disturbed and the well-being of playing customers is ensured.”

The regulator added that it was a “duty to observe due process and comply with Supreme Court rulings and directions,” which the UEC said included PAGCOR accepting Kazuo Okada Group’s request to deny the ‘UEC access to revenue generated by TRLEI via Okada. Manila and to recognize band member Dindo A Espeleta as the new representative of TRLEI.

However, in a statement sent to AGI On Friday night, the UEC said it vehemently denounced PAGCOR’s decision to “openly side with usurper Kazuo Okada in the ongoing intra-corporate dispute.”

“On May 22, 2022, PAGCOR and the Kazuo Group held a meeting, electing Espeleta as TRLEI’s purported representative to PAGCOR,” the UEC said. “[PAGCOR’s] prejudice towards the Kazuo group was strongly manifested during the blatantly violent takeover of Okada Manila by the Kazuo group.

“PAGCOR President and COO Mr. Alfredo Lim reportedly said the takeover was peaceful and orderly, despite viral videos showing just the opposite.

“Furthermore, the Kazuo Group claimed that PAGCOR recognized its bogus board of directors.

“Based on its mandate, PAGCOR, a Government-Owned or Controlled Corporation (GOCC), is only mandated by Executive Order No. 1869 to “regulate, operate, license and license gambling , card games and number games, especially casino games in the Philippines. It is not empowered by law to rule on intra-group disputes.

“Further, PAGCOR is not permitted to exercise its regulatory powers by favoring any party in an intra-corporate dispute, a matter well within the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“Thus, it is in blatant disregard of the parties’ legal rights that PAGCOR has lost its neutrality in this intra-corporate dispute by openly acknowledging fictitious counsel without any legal and factual basis.”

The UEC said “this manifest bias is an act of bribery and corruption under the law of the Republic.” [No.] 3019” and pointed to Section 3 of the Act, which states: “The following constitutes a corrupt practice of any public official and is hereby declared unlawful… Causing undue harm to any party, including the government, or part thereof any improper benefit, advantage or preference in the performance of his official administrative or judicial duties through manifest bias, manifest bad faith or inexcusable gross negligence”.

UEC also reiterated its position that only shareholders of its Hong Kong-registered subsidiary Tiger Resort Asia Ltd (TRAL) – which owns 99.9% of TRLEI – have the right to elect TRLEI’s board, and that even if the SQAO is applied, the newly installed Council is not the same Council that existed in 2017.

TRLEI lawyer Atty. Estrella Elamparo alluded to this on Wednesday, the day after the physical takeover, when she noted that in 2017 Kazuo Okada owned just one share of TRLEI, a company with some 5 billion ordinary shares in stock. circulation, and even that single action had been stripped from him later that year.

“PAGCOR is well aware of these facts and yet it acted with a clear bias in favor of the Kazuo Group,” the UEC said in Friday evening’s statement.

“We urge PAGCOR to take a neutral stance in the intra-company dispute and be more mindful of its mandate as GOCC.

“The public can be assured that UEC, TRAL and the legitimate members of the TRLEI Board of Directors will not hesitate to exhaust all legal remedies to redress the wrong that has recently been committed against the company and to protect the interests of all stakeholders.”

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