By Vann Marlo M. Villegas
THE Department of Justice (DoJ) affirmed the dismissal of the estafa case against Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada and several others for lack of probable cause over the alleged conspiracy for the supply of light-emitting diode (LED) strips to be installed at the facade of Okada Manila.
In a 10-page resolution dated Dec. 21, 2018, Assistant State Prosecutor Alejandro C. Daguiso said Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. (TRLEI) failed to prove that there is conspiracy among Mr. Okada, former CEO of Okada Manila, Kengo Takeda, Aruze Philippines Manufacturing, Inc (APMI) and its President Tetsuya Yokota.
“From the records, there appears to be no concrete evidence at all of Respondents’ alleged conspiracy and representations that brought about the contract in question,” the prosecution ruled.
The DoJ affirmed the May 15, 2018 resolution of the Office of the City Prosecutor-Parañaque City which dismissed the Dec. 5, 2017 complaint of TRLEI, filed through its Chief Executive Adviser Dindo A. Espeleta, against the respondents for allegedly entering TRLEI and APMI in a “Supply Agreement” dated Oct. 3, 2016 for the procurement of P207-million worth of LED strips.
TRLEI said that steps were made for the procurement of the LED project with Stealth Ventures Corporation since 2015, but Mr. Takeda, former chief technology officer, suggested to Mr. Espeleta that TRLEI should award the contract to APMI. It claimed that problems were encountered in some of the LED strips in the first few weeks of the installation.
The prosecution said in part, “The Complaint merely relies upon the assertions of Mr. Espeleta of perceived close personal association and affinity between the individual Respondents without any reference to specific meeting or conversations on particular dates during the period of negotiations for the awarding of the Supply Agreement, and Respondents have indeed denied the participation in the same.”
It also noted that no receipts were presented regarding the delivery or payment of the LED strips.
The DoJ also emphasized the Supply Agreement, which stated that APMI “shall supply” the LED strips, was executed several months after the delivery of the LED strips and that the TRLEI’s officers were aware of the involvement of J&J Philippines Corporation in the manufacturing of LED lights through the e-mail exchanges presented by the respondents.
The DoJ said TRLEI did not refute the assertions of Mr. Yokota on the problems in the actual installation of the LED strips, “for which Respondent APMI is not at all responsible.”
“To summarize, we find that there is no probable cause to conclude that criminal fraud occurred, absent any additional evidence that can refute the assertion that Complainant’s officers actually knew about the involvement of J&J in the manufacture of LED,” the prosecution said.