Court junks Okada’s bid to regain control of casino firm
Japanese gaming mogul Kazuo Okada has suffered yet another legal setback after a Parañaque City judge jettisoned due to technicality his petition questioning his removal as chair of the company that operates the upscale casino complex Okada Manila.
In rejecting his bid to regain control of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI), Judge Noemi Balitaan of Parañaque Regional Trial Court Branch 258 said Okada should have filed his petition within 15 days after he was ousted as chair, director, shareholder and chief executive officer of the company in June 2017.
Balitaan said Okada’s petition questioning the legality of the decision of TRLEI to replace him was clearly an “election protest” as defined under Section 2, Rule 6 of the Interim Rules of Procedure for Intracorporate Controversies.
“Records show that this case was only filed … on Aug. 29, 2018, or approximately one year and two months after the alleged removal of [Okada], in violation of the interim rules,” the judge said in a Nov. 16 ruling, which the parties received only last week.
“[T]he Supreme Court has held that when the plaintiffs own complaint shows clearly that the action has prescribed, such action may be dismissed even if the defense of prescription has not been invoked by the defendant,” she added.
Okada, a billionaire businessman who popularized pachinko gambling, had been challenging his removal from his own company after his former business associates accused him of pocketing some $10 million in corporate funds.
His ouster from TRLEI came after his nominal share in the gaming firm was voided by its parent company, the Hong Kong-based Tiger Resorts and Leisure.
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