BUSINESS

Okada could still face bribery charges in the Philippines

TAGs: efraim genuino, gambling, Kazuo Okada, PAGCOR, Philippines

okada-bribery-allegationsThe Philippines’ Department of Justice is currently busy investigating a certain lady accused of being the mastermind of a huge corruption saga. But even if the agency is tied up against the wall on that case, it doesn’t mean it’s not working on other pressing issues, one of which involves Japanese gambling tycoon Kazuo Okada.

The investigation on the bribery allegations attributed to Okada is still in full-swing and recently DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima is not closing the option of filing bribery charges against the embattled casino operator. A line-up of witnesses are currently being prepared to testify against Okada for his role in bribing former officials of Pagcor in order to gain favorable treatment in securing a casino license in the country.

“My instructions is to continue the case buildup because there are documentary evidence indicating that there was indeed bribery,” De Lima told Philippine reporters late last week.

The DOJ secretary also said that former Pagcor chairman Efraim Genuino could be implicated in the bribery investigation, potentially adding another criminal case against a man who already has enough of them to his name.

The respective investigations on Genuino and Okada have taken a whole lot of time and resources out of the DOJ. But this new admission from De Lima could end up hitting two birds with one stone if its proven that both Okada and Genuino are guilty of the crimes being alleged against them.

De Lima stopped short of fully implicating Genuino on the Okada investigation but she did say that the agency is in the process of validating his involvement in the “anomaly”.

For Okada, the bribery charges could also add another criminal case on top of the violations the DOJ slapped against him and his many constituents for breaking the country’s anti-dummy law by using dummy companies to circumvent the 40-percent ownership law for foreign investors.

If the Japanese gambling tycoon is found guilty, you can be damn well sure that his doing business in the country will wash away from Philippine shores, never to be seen from and heard of again.

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