Indicted for grave coercion: DOJ says Kazuo Okada, Tonyboy Cojuangco took ‘law into their hands’ in Okada Manila takeover

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has found probable cause to charge Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada and Filipino businessman Tonyboy Cojuangco for the illegal takeover of Okada Manila.

In a statement, Okada’s parent company, Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI), said DOJ indicted members of the Kazuo Group for grave coercion when they stormed into the casino complex on May 31 to take over Okada Manila’s operations.

Also named in the lawsuit were Dindo Espeleta and Florentino “Binky” Herrera III.

“Ineluctably, respondents Kazuo, Cojuangco, Espeleta and Herrera are deemed to have taken the law into their hands,” the DOJ said.

The Kazuo group also installed a new board of directors, which were eventually not recognized by the courts.

The DOJ said Kazuo and his men “illegally magnified the simple and general directive of the Supreme Court to maintain order” in Okada Manila and did the reverse when they barged into the casino with armed men.

“Respondents should act within the confines of the law and not resort to the commission of a felony,” the resolution read.

“Evidently, there is prima facie showing that respondents did not act under authority of law and/or went in excess of a lawful right. They have no right to take the law into their hands and deprive the complainants of their right as directors and officers of TRLEI.”

TRLEI expressed gratitude for DOJ’s decision.

“We will continue to work with our lawyers and exhaust all legal means to win this case against the Kazuo Group,” TRLEI CFO, Treasurer, and Board Member Hans Van Der Sande said.

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