CASINO magnate Kazuo Okada yesterday censured his opponents led by businessman Antonio Cojuangco and his lawyer Manuel Lazaro for supposedly delaying the resolution of his lawsuit against officers of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. (TRLEI) filed before the Parañaque City regional trial court.
In an opposition filed by his lawyers last October 1 before the Parañaque RTC, Okada described as “baseless, misleading and without any merit” the claim of his adversaries that his lawsuit was a nuisance and a form of harassment.
Cojuangco and Lazaro were among the defendants in the case filed by Okada.
“If there’s anybody who is being harassed here, it is Mr. Okada, whose legal rights continue to be trampled upon by the defendants,” said Atty. Reody Balisi of Esguerra & Blanco Law Offices, the gaming tycoon’s legal team.
Okada’s lawsuit stemmed from his illegal removal in June 2017 from TRLEI. Okada later filed a complaint in court to nullify his ouster and invoke his right to be reinstated as a stockholder, director, chairman and chief executive officer of TRLEI. TRLEI owns and operates Okada Manila, a $2.5 billion hotel/resort/casino within the Entertainment City.
Okada is the biggest shareholder of Okada Holdings, Inc., which has a controlling interest over Universal Entertainment Corp. (UEC) that owns TRLEI through Tiger Resort Asia Ltd. (TRAL).
Atty. Balisi disputed the claim of the defendants in their motion to dismiss that Okada is not even a shareholder, director and officer of TRLEI.
“That is ridiculous,” Atty. Balisi said. “It is undisputed that Mr. Okada is the beneficial owner of 34.41 percent of TRAL and TRLEI, a fact recognized by both firms when they secured a loan with BDO Unibank, Inc.”
“No one from the defendants ever questioned Mr. Okada’s 46.4 percent shareholdings in Okada Holdings, Ltd., which controls 67.9 percent of UEC that owns 100 percent of the shares of stock of TRAL,” he stressed, adding that the legal team seeks to nullify Okada’s illegal removal from TRLEI.