Inside Asian Gaming has received a Status Quo Ante Order issued by Division 2 of the Supreme Court of the Phillippines to Okada Manila’s management company, Tiger Resort, Leisure & Entertainment, Inc. (TRLEI), which, if enforced, would restore the composition of the board of directors of TRLEI to the composition it had in 2017, before the dispute between Universal Entertainment Corporation and Kazuo Okada began.
Okada was removed from the boards of TRLEI and its Japanese parent company, Universal Entertainment Corp, in 2017 following an internal investigation which alleged Okada had committed three cases of fraudulent acts against the company.
The Status Quo Ante Orde, dated 27 April 2022, for the case of “Kazuo Okada vs. Tiger Resort, Leisure & Entertainment, Inc, et al.” (G.R. No.256470), which is effective until further order, directs the “respondent, its agents, representatives, or any person acting in their place or stead, to MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO prevailing prior to petitioner’s removal as stockholder, director, chairman, and CEO of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. (TRLEI) in 2017.”
The petitioner is named as Mr Kazuo Okada, and the respondent as Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, Inc.
Inside Asian Gaming understands that TRLEI will be filing a motion for reconsideration of the order.
A legal expert based in the Philippines, who asked not to be named, told IAG, “The Status Quo Ante Order requires the return of the state of affairs prior to filing of the case. In the case of Okada [that means] his return to his board seat and position as CEO with TRLEI when he was evicted by the other group.
“What it means for TRLEI is that they need to comply with the Supreme Court’s order for the reinstatement of Okada. They can opt to file a Motion for Reconsideration but the Supreme Court rarely reverses itself and the reinstatement is likely inevitable.”
While the order must be concerning to TRLEI, it arguably raises more questions than answers, for example:
- If the Status Quo Ante Order is complied with, for how long must the status quo be maintained?
- If TRLEI refuses to comply, how and when is the order enforceable?
- Will TRLEI’s motion for reconsideration be considered?
- Are there any other avenues for appeal available to TRLEI?
- If Kazuo Okada is restored as stockholder, director, chairman, and CEO of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, Inc., what will that mean for the company?
Only time will tell how this will play out.
[Ed: Less than 24 hours after the publication of this story, TRLEI issued a statement to IAG that it had filed for an Urgent Motion for Reconsideration.]