The Court of Appeals of the Philippines has denied a petition from Kazuo Okada to block the recently returned board of Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI) from conducting normal business functions.
According to local media reports, Mr Okada had called on the court to block both the Tiger Resort Asia Ltd (TRAL) backed board and gaming regulator PAGCOR – which approved the boardroom transition – from “performing any and all acts that would displace” his own board or “disturb” the status quo ante order issued by the Supreme Court in May.
The Court of Appeals’ 10th Division denied the petition due to lack of authority.
It did, however, partially grant Mr Okada’s motion for a cease and desist order preventing PAGCOR or the TRAL-backed board from interfering with or preventing access to various documents.
The court specifically stated that all parties must be granted the ability to “inspect the corporate records of TRLEI including its contracts with landlord, suppliers and contractors”, as well as any documents related to the planned listing of Okada Manila in the United States via a SPAC merger, documents related to leasehold rights over the land on which Okada Manila is situated, and financial statements of parent companies Okada Holdings Limited and Universal Entertainment Corp as “may be relevant to our duty of determining the factual matters of the case.”
“PAGCOR and TRAL are further ordered to account for the documents, such as but not limited to corporate records, general information sheets, audited financial statements and other relevant papers which came into their possession as a result of the incidents in Okada Manila on 2 September 2022,” it said.
As reported by IAG, the TRAL-backed board regained control of Okada Manila last week after PAGCOR issued the Kazuo Okada-led board of TRLEI with a “cease and desist” order and directed them to vacate the casino at Okada Manila in order to reinstate the previous board.
This came three months after a group led by Kazuo Okada forcibly took control of Okada Manila in late May in response to a Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO) issued by the Supreme Court demanding the board of TRLEI be restored to its composition in 2017, before the dispute between Universal and Mr Okada that led to him being frozen out.
An opinion was last week issued by the Department of Justice (DoJ) secretary which appeared to frown upon the actions of the Kazuo Okada faction in taking control of the property in May.