Not surprisingly, the Japanese gambling tycoon didn’t even bother to show up.
The hearing did go through, but in his place and acting as his representation were lawyers of of Eagle I Landholdings Inc., Eagle II Holdco Inc., and Tiger Resort Inc., three local companies that fall under Okada’s Universal Entertainment corporation.
Apparently, the lawyers who did attend the hearing issued no response to the allegations because they still had to review the “voluminous documents” that tied up Okada, Universal Entertainment, and a host of other individuals and corporations to the charges they were facing. In lieu of this extension request to get their house in order, the DOJ investigating panel granted the lawyers until November 7 to file their counter-affidavits.
Okada’s absence in the hearing could also be largely explained by the agency’s failure to send a subpoena, because it has no jurisdiction to subpoena anybody with a known address abroad, which in this case is Japan. But even with the supposed head of the snake not in attendance in the hearing and possibly all subsequent hearings, the DOJ reiterated its intention to resolve the case filed against him “based on the evidence at hand”. Admirable, but probably not the easiest scenario to get to the bottom of this case.
In any case, Okada’s no-show was partly quelled by the attendance of other individuals charged in the same case. A pair of Tiger Resorts directors, namely Ken Taura and Tetsutaro Shibata, did show up at the hearing. The former denied the allegations against him and purshed for the dismissal of the complaint whereas the latter asked for an extension to answer the allegations behind thrown at him.
Okada, Taura, and Shibata are not the only individuals that are facing complaints for violating the Philippines’ Anti-Dummy Law. Six more Japanese nationals are also facing the same charges, including Tiger Resort chairman Hajime Tokuda, president Mitsuo Hida, and directors Takeshi Nojima, Koki Seki, Masato Araki and Manabu Kawasaki.
Not to be outdone, local representation was also strong with a number of Filipinos named in the complaint,
Likewise, 17 Filipinos implicated in the investigation were also issued summons, including Eagle I director Rodolfo Soriano Jr.; Eagle II executives Hector de Leon Jr., Ramon Songco, Llewellyn Llanillo, Rene Soriano, Andres Sta. Maria, Roberto San Juan, Manuel Camacho and Paulo Bombase; Tiger Resort executives and officers Imelda Manguiat, Jose Ma. Hofileña, Carina Laforteza and Jan Abano; and Platinum Gaming and Entertainment Corp. officers Roberto Suson, Ma. Lourdes Go and Victor Emmanuel Caindic.