Members of old Okada Manila board face qualified theft charges

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LAWYERS of the Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. (TRLEI) management filed qualified theft charges against executives of the old TRLEI board.

Two counts of Qualified Theft under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code were filed against former TRLEI board members Hajime Tokuda, Michiake Satate, Kenji Sugiyama, Toji Takeuchi, Celso G. Del Rosario, James Gordon Lorenzana, and a certain Jorge Miano.

The case stemmed after the former TRLEI board members entered into a transaction with Master Fogger, a cleaner and pest control company, last February 1, 2022.

Upon assumption into office, the new Okada Manila board led by its Chairman, Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada, immediately conducted an internal audit of all the reported anomalous transactions entered into by the ousted board led by Tokuda and Satate.

In a statement sent to FrontpagePH.com, the new board said it discovered grave violations of administrative and governance compliance policies in the execution of the service agreement with Master Fogger. It said the service agreement did not pass through TRLEI’s stringent vendor accreditation process as Hajime Tokuda and Michiake Satate personally intervened and ensured the contract’s approval.

The internal audit said the Master Fogger Service Agreement contract lacked details to enforce delivery, accountability, and monitor compliance with performance standards, plus the fact that only Hajime Tokuda and Michiake Satate had direct access to Master Fogger all throughout the negotiation process.

Miano, meanwhile, who reportedly represented himself as President of Master Fogger, was not even a stockholder of the said company, the statement claimed.

In its statement, Okada Manila said the contract price of more than P140 million was grossly disproportionate to the actual service that was supposed to be rendered. The per square meter cost of Master Fogger’s pest control service is more expensive by P80.10 compared to existing accredited TRLEI vendor such as Pest Science.

The Master Fogger deal is deemed redundant and wasteful expenditure as there were already two existing pest control service providers for Okada Manila, which costs only P8,169,929 per year which is comparatively cheaper against Master Fogger.

Meanwhile, the statement said the full payment of P140,808,000 was advanced less than a month after the contract’s approval, despite the absence of an accomplishment report which is a prerequisite before payment. Another violation was the absence of a bond requirement for 100-percent advance payment of the total contract cost prior to service delivery.

Based on the report, according to the statement, two check payments were made by Tokuda and his group. The first was on February 10, 2022 amounting to P42,242,400 and the second one made last February 25, 2022 amounting to P98,565,600 for a total of P140, 808,000 in a span of fifteen days. Also suspiciously glaring, the statement adds, is the fact that the two check payments supposedly meant for Master Fogger were received by a certain Roberto Jaime Gepilano of Argo Global Lending, a company where Michiake Satate is reportedly its management advisor.

Also, the statement claimed that the approval of Master Fogger’s Service Agreement was only done via e-mail and is therefore void because there was no actual meeting of the board or a board resolution supporting the approval, nor any prior notice was sent.

The audit also includes the Security and Surveillance record that showed no representative or employee of Master Fogger Inc, went to Okada Manila from January to June of 2022. What is worst, according to the statement, was that Master Fogger did not actually deliver on the services they were contracted from the time of the execution of the agreement on February 11, 2022

Okada, in the statement, says the new board will leave no stone unturned and let Tokuda and his group be held accountable. He said investigations will continue to ensure the financial viability of the company, and likewise assured everyone that they are keenly aware of their fiduciary obligations as well as their strict conformity with corporate compliance processes.

The members of the old Okada board have yet to provide their own statement on the issue.

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