Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada will need to face a full trial in the Philippines on grave coercion charges after a court dismissed his motion to have the case dropped.
“All told, the information, in this case, is sufficient, and the motion to quash in the omnibus motion of the accused must necessarily fail,” local media cited the court ruling as saying. “Considering that the allegations were sufficiently subscribed against the accused in this case, the next logical step for this court is to ascertain the veracity of said allegations in a full-blown trial to determine whether or not the accused are guilty of the offense charged in this case.”
The Paranaque Metropolitan Trial Court rejected Okada’s plea to dismiss the charge in a resolution dated Oct. 18th.
Officials from Tiger Resorts, Leisure and Entertainment, the operator of Okada Manila, filed the charges against the businessman and his team following the May 31st takeover of the Okada Manila resort.
PAGCOR orders OKADA out
A group, acting on Okada’s behalf, entered the resort and ejected the management team after a Supreme Court status quo ante order said the board should be returned to its 2017 state, prior to when Okada was ousted.
The saga took another twist in September, when market regulator, the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corp. ordered Okada’s group to leave the premises.
Okada returned to the Philippines last week to continue his fight for control of Manila’s largest integrated resort. He was arrested and detained briefly on arrival before being released on bail.
“I insisted on coming back to the Philippines despite several warnings from my lawyers that I may be detained by the authorities,” he said in a statement. “I want to show to the Filipino people and the world that I am not afraid. I came back to face this “grave coercion” charge against me and my associates. I have nothing to fear when I know I am standing on the right side of the law. I will not bow down to intimidation, and I will not back-off from this legal battle. This fight isn’t over.”
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