Okada to answer criminal charges over Entertainment City project

The Department of Justice (DOJ) last week issued a subpoena for Kazuo Okada, chairman of Universal Entertainment Corp., to attend a preliminary investigation on October 17 and 18 to answer criminal charges relating to his dealings in the Entertainment City project in Manila.  The Japanese gaming tycoon is to answer charges 

of violations of the Philippine Anti-Dummy Law, Public Land Act, Foreign Investment Act and Article XII of the Constitution.  A seven month investigation by a fact-finding team found that Universal Entertainment Corp. had used three local firms as dummies to circumvent the 40 percent limit on foreign ownerhsip of businesses in the Philippines.  The three local firms were Eagle I Landholdings Inc., Eagle II Holdco Inc., and Tiger Resort Inc.  Several Tiger Resort, Eagle I and Eagle II executives and officers were also implicated and are to face the same criminal charges along with three foreign affiliates of Universal and other local firms.  A law firm that had been implicated in the charges earlier denied any wrongdoing.  Managing partner Rafael Morales said, “We take exception, in the strongest possible terms, to the NBI’s investigating panel’s resolution recommending the inclusion of several lawyers of SyCiP Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan in the prosecution of Mr. Kazuo Okada in connection with his Philippine investments.”  The panel will comprise Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Deana Perez and Assistant State Prosecutors Arnold Magpantay and Caterina Isabel Caeg.