23 Feb 2018
- By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
IMPERIAL Pacific International is preparing a lawsuit against Bloomberg as the casino investor again denied the allegations made in the Bloomberg article titled, “A Chinese Casino Has Conquered a Piece of America.”
IPI on Thursday said it had instructed its lawyers to start legal action against Bloomberg for defamation.
In an announcement to the Hong Kong Exchange in which IPI is a listed member, the casino investor said: “IPI Holdings Limited and its indirectly wholly owned subsidiary IPI CNMI LLC repudiate all allegations of wrongdoing published by Bloomberg in its 15 Feb. 2018 article.”
Imperial Pacific said it “has instructed its lawyers to commence legal action against Bloomberg for defamation…. Shareholders will be kept informed of developments in the legal action.”
The statement came from the IPI board through its executive director Cai Lingli. The other board members are Xia Yuki Yu, Teng Sio I and Cui Li Jie, who are also executive directors, and Robert James Woolsey, Ng Hoi Yue, Tso Hon Sai Basco and Lee Kwok Leung who are independent non-executive directors.
Meanwhile the Commonwealth Casino Commission is also considering legal action against the Bloomberg.
In an interview on Thursday, the commission’s executive director, Edward Deleon Guerrero, said: “We will consult with our legal counsel. We are looking at the article… We are also looking at the comments made by other people, and whether those comments constitute defamation. We understand this is a democratic country, but I can assure you there are limits on what you can say and print. If you are printing lies and false statements, whoever it is, you must be held accountable.”
He said some online commentators on Marianas Variety’s website claimed as a fact “that there’s a commissioner taking money under the table.”
Deleon Guerrero said “that’s different from saying ‘I heard’ or ‘I think,’ but using the [phrase] ‘we know for a fact’ — we are not taking it lightly.”
He said he is dismayed that even his son, Matthew, who works for the governor, was “dragged” by Bloomberg into the issue of corruption.
“My son, Matt, is one of the smartest young professionals here. He was a top student at NYU and to have his name dragged into [this issue] is very disturbing.”
Deleon Guerrero said it is not a secret that he is the brother of the governor’s mother.
“But their family spent a fortune to bring all the kids to Idaho to educate them. All the children [of my sister] are degree holders…. To have one lawyer in the family is a [sign of] success, but to have four lawyers and one governor, is a miracle, a blessing. A clear indication of what hard work can do for a family if you strive. This family worked hard, [they] went to school and were successful in their own right. They did not get their success from IPI. [And] these commissioners are hard-working people and it’s not right that they be maligned by a fly-by-night ‘expert’ who came here for three days and aligned himself with the…critics of the [casino] industry.”
Gov. Ralph Torres, in an earlier interview, said this is an election year and he expects that more accusations will be made against him and his family.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/102473-ipi-to-sue-bloomberg-casino-commission-mulls-legal-action