DOJ decision against Kazuo Okada, Tonyboy Cojuangco et al: Grave Coercion for Okada Manila takeover

Posted by DG, Date posted at October 3, 2022

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The hostile Okada Manila takeover incident that occurred on the 31st of May 2022 finally reached closure with the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to file charges for grave coercion. This is against Kazuo Okada, Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco, Dindo Espeleta and Florentino “Binky”  Herrera III.

The reported incident was largely stemming from a years-long legal battle for ownership of Okada Manila. Complainants namely, Hajime Tokuda and Michiaki State, members of the board of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, Inc., and Jaime Lorenzana submitted highly detailed documentation of how Kazuo Okada’s group violated their rights as they physically evicted them from the Okada Manila offices.

Okada’s group, along with a team of security personnel, interrupted an emergency shareholders’ meeting with their lawyers as they went inside Okada Manila’s Golden Ballroom and grabbed Hajime Tokuda. They were all gathered into vehicles and were eventually taken home.

The basis for this bold move was stemming from Okada using the Supreme Court’s decision on an April 27th resolution that granted him issuance of a status quo ante order (SQAO). However, the fact that Okada had no authority nor was a major stakeholder at Tiger Resort Asia Ltd. (TRA) was not openly considered when he decided to move forward with these actions.

The state prosecutors saw merit in the complaint filed by said officials of the Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc., (TRLEI) declaring that they were physically handled and taken away from the premises during the May 31st event. 

The DOJ cited Article 286 of the Revised Penal Code defining grave coercion as an act by any person who, without any authority of law, by means of violence, threats, or intimidation, prevents another from doing something not prohibited by law, or compels him to do something against his will, whether it be right or wrong.

Lawyers of the parties involved, Raoul Sontillano, Ferdinand Michael Marco Manotoc, Jefferson Wilfredo Ferrer (counsels for respondents), and DivinaLaw (counsels for complainants) have received copies of the DOJ resolution.

Grave coercion was cited due to the fact that there was an intention for temporary deprivation of liberty by the complainants as they were forcibly taken out of the Okada Manila’s boardroom, into the elevator, and down to the parking area and later brought home — was to stop them from performing functions as part of the members of the board of the company.

Complaints of slight physical injuries, kidnapping, and serious illegal detention, as well as unjust vexation against Kazuo Okada’s team, were dismissed.


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