DOJ denies junking $5-M bribery case vs Okada
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) denied that the National Bureau of Investigation has terminated its probe into the US$5-million bribery allegation against Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada in connection with the $2-billion entertainment city project.
Okada’s Universal Entertainment Corporation issued a statement from Tokyo last week, stating “all inspections or investigations by government-related bodies of the Company group and its officers and employees in relation to the groundless suspicion have thereby concluded for all practical purposes in the Philippines.”
In the same statement, it noted that Prosecutor General Claro Arellano proposed to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to terminate the investigation “due to insufficient evidence.” The case, it added, was only based on suspicions by officers and employees of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).
“That is not true,” de Lima said, stressing that Arellano has not made any such proposal.
“He has not received the resolution of the panel [of investigators handling the case],” de Lima said in a text message.
The Prosecutor General, on the other hand, said he has already ordered the panel to expedite the resolution of the case.
“The case is still with the Panel [of investigators]. Pinamamadali ko na nga dahil matagal na yan,” Arellano said over the phone.
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