Monday, October 10, 2016

Former Board Of Catholic Cemeteries Resigned

According to KUAM news, the former Board of Catholic Cemeteries resigned due to the fact that they refused to be complicit in the alleged cover-up of Monsignor James' misappropriation of funds.  Jackie Terlaje gave a final report, which you can find in KUAM news.  A criminal complaint has already been filed in the Guam Police Department and Attorney General's Office.  According to the news report: 

Former board refused to be complicit in alleged cover-up

The previous board of directors of Catholic Cemeteries says not only does the temporary leadership of the Archdiocese of Agana have the authority to fire them, they resigned their positions because they refuse to be complicit with an alleged cover-up of the misuse of cemetery funds.
About an hour after the archdiocese issued a press release to announce the official termination of the Catholic Cemeteries board and their replacements, their predecessors held a press conference. Attorney Jacque Terlaje said, "This board effectively and immediately resigns their directorships due to the request of the delegate to turn a blind eye to the absolute misuse of funds. The board has been requested to disregard the laws and standards governing this non-profit corporation.
"In good conscience to the church the truth and the laws of Guam, we decline to participate in this attempt to subvert justice for the dead and the families that have entrusted the cemeteries to utilize the funds paid for services for the cemeteries and not for any personal use."
Terlaje formerly the board secretary, led the press conference. Sitting beside her were former board members Dennis Santo Tomas, Lillian Posadas and Roland San Agustin.  The archdiocese announced they were removed on Friday.  Their termination follows a complaint the previous board  filed involving Monsignor James Benavente for alleged misuse of cemetery funds for his 20th anniversary celebration in 2014.
As we reported, one week after that party Archbishop Anthony Apuron removed him as rector of the cathedral and director of Catholic Cemeteries following a Deloitte & Touche audit alleging financial mismanagement. Fast forward to September 30 of this year, and the new temporary leadership of the archdiocese cleared Monsignor Benavente of any wrongdoing.
The fired board maintains however their complaint was justified and backed up by documentation, as Terlaje said, "Because this board has revealed the truth and  abided by its obligation to protect cemetery funds, the  current administration of the Archdiocese of Agana has decided to silence our board by terminating directors without cause and without proper authority."
Following the filing of the complaint, the archdiocese issued another press release, stating this specific allegation had been vetted and once again cleared Monsignor Benavente of any wrongdoing. As for the new Catholic Cemeteries board:
- Joseph T. Duenas was appointed as Interim Administrator, replacing replaces Father Jose Alberto Rodriguez-Salamaca who was relieved of his duties.
- Wayne Santos was part of the previous board but he was reappointed. He is Vice President and Marketing Manager of Bank of Guam
- Daniel J. Tydingco: Executive Vice President of Legal, Regulatory and External Affairs TeleGuam Holdings, LLC, dba GTA
- Gregory D. Perez: Project Manager Pacific Unlimited Inc.
- John A. Cruz: Hagatna Mayor
- Gerald A. Taitano: Director of Personnel Naval Facilities Marianas
Meanwhile, the previous board today submitted a final report to the archdiocese on the misuse of cemetery funds.
In response to the press conference and allegations made by former board members:  The Archdiocese of Agana issued a press release maintaining its position regarding Monsignor James Benavente. The press release stated “We have full confidence in our newly appointed board and interim administrator of Catholic Cemeteries. We are moving forward in this area and at all levels in our Catholic Church on Guam. It is crucial that we do so, given the challenges and tasks at hand”.


I often said that the ONLY time you disobey a Bishop is when he is telling you to do something immoral such as to steal, kill, etc.  The Board of the Catholic Cemeteries said that Father Jeff was requesting them to cover up a criminal activity.  More information is found in PNC news:

"The board of directors of the catholic cemeteries of Guam unanimously believes that its conduct related to the release of information on the misuse of cemetery funds is justified by the truth, and supported by documentation and records maintained with the corporation, in addition to the review findings of Deloitte and Touche dated January 8, 2014. Because the board has revealed the truth and abided by its obligation t protect cemetery funds, the current administration of the Archdiocese of Agana has decided to silence our board by terminating directors without cause and without proper authority," stated Terlaje. 

The report includes numerous credit card statements, a couple of contracts and catholic cemeteries checks signed by Benavente paid to the Agana cathedral in the thousands of dollars.

The credit card statements show that the credit card belonging to the Catholic cemeteries, was used for things like dinners, hotel stays at the Shangri-la in Makati, accommodations in Chicago and Boston, a stay at PIC worth over $1,300, medication, travel, and other charges.

Also in the report are two burial contracts, one for Benavente and another for Frank Santos. The contracts are for private family plots that are both valued at $190,000 each, but in the contract the charges appear to have been waived.

Finally, there are checks signed by Benavente payabe to the Agana Cathedral Basilica for the repayment of church loans.

"The adminsitration has requested that this board be complicit in the cover up of the use of cemetery funds for the personal use of Msgr. Benavente. In 2014, Archbishop Anthony Apuron appointed the directors of the board to manage and operate the cemetery corporation. Each director has offered their time and effort to ensure protection of the Perpetual Care Fund to be used for its intended purpose and to avoid further pillaging," concluded Terlaje.

Attorney Terlaje and the other former board members did not take any questions from the media.

About three hours after Terlaje's press conference, the Archdiocese of Agana issued another statement saying they maintain their previous position regarding Benavente "as stated several times now in recent weeks."


  1. Dear Diana, what does "unanimous" mean?

    1. Dear Anonymous at 7:15 pm,

      Unanimous means everyone. Archbishop Hon stated that all those who were involved and agreed with what Jackie Terlaje did should turn in their resignation. And according to the jungle, even Wayne Santos submitted his resignation. If he had disagreed, it would not make any sense for Mr. Santos to submit his resignation since Archbishop Hon was asking the resignation only for those who were involved and agreed with Mrs. Terlaje.

    2. Mr Santos submitted his resignation when Jackie when public with the complaint to police, not when Hon asked for resignations. Where was Mr Santos today when Jackie was still saying "unanimous"? Why is Mr Santos' signature not on the final report?

      None of this is consistent with the claim that the decision was unanimous?

      Also, why doesn't Jackie simply table the minutes or the record of conversations that prove it was unanimous? Could it be because she is not telling the truth?

    3. Dear Anonymous at 7:25 pm,

      From what I understand, Mr. Santos was off-island. After clearing Monsignor James' name, a complaint was already filed with GDP and the AG's office within only a few hours. A few hours after that, Hon went public and asked for the resignation of all those involved. All that took place in one day. How did Mr. Santos submit his resignation after Jackie went public that quickly when he was not even on island?

      As I said, it does not make any sense for Mr. Santos to submit his resignation when Archbishop Hon called for the resignation of only those involved.

    4. The problem with the junglefolks is they're making up stories. Only Wayne can answer those questions. Now, Tim is accusing Fr. Pius and AB Apuron of hiding in RMS. Fr. Pius was in Rome. He only arrived on Guam a few days ago for the Beginning of the year convivence. AB Apuron is also not hiding in RMS. JW is getting paranoid.

    5. Well, for a start, Mr Santos resigned while the others were terminated. Why? If there was unanimous support for jackie's plan, why the division on th board? Mr Santos dud the right thing and was rewarded with confidence, by bring reappointed to the board. Jackie's story doesn't add up.

      I know you neos really hate mons james, but this is all a bit ridiculous, don't you think?

    6. Dear Anonymous at 11:05 pm,

      Considering that Mr. Santos resigned, I do not see that as a division. If he was not consulted as you assumed, the normal reaction would either to call Jackie and have her explain why he spoke for him or defend his position rather than resign.

      We do not hate Monsignor James, but do you not want to know the truth? If you believe that Monsignor James is innocent, why the uproar?

    7. Actually I dont care whether Monsignor James is innocent or not. I'm more concerned with the neos behavior which demonstrates that they are not docile to the lawful authority of the Church. Jackies attitude is disgusting.

      In any event, Mr Santos is probably wise to keep quiet as it has been shown that the ncw is only too prepared to use what it knows of someone to make them suffer. Being in the ncw makes Mr Santos vulnerable to the hatred and ugly hearts of the neo leadership

    8. Dear Anonymous at 11:37 pm,

      You do not care whether Monsignor James is innocent or not?????? Now exactly what is wrong with that very first statement?

    9. I am a Proud member of the Junglenation.However,I have longed believed there are financial concerns in past spending habits of Monsignor. I support Jackie in her questioning of these finances because it makes me mad what I saw going on these past years.

    10. 11.37Pm As members of the Church we have a responsibility to insure that Church Finances accounting practices are followed in our instituations. It is the concern of every educated catholic to see our church finances are in order. Many are concerned with what our priests do with Church Money. It is Church Money belonging to the people and not to a priest.

  2. Tonight I read through the 140 pages of Atty.Jackie. The listed expenses of the credit card do not meet the requirments of a private corporation or charity. Stays in Hilton Hotels Shagri-la Hotels are personal expenses not corporation.
    I find these expenses worrying. Atty. Jackie is well within her right to question these expenses. sickening for any priest to use Church money in such a manner. As i said I'm not NCW but i do not support priests who spend church money in such a manner.

    1. Why did the review clear mons benevente then?

    2. Dear Anonymous at 11:05 pm,

      Perhaps because of the connections. See the weblink below:

  3. For what purpose was Monsignor staying in Shangrila Hotel? Was there a conference? It would be acceptable to pay for a religious conference on a Church credit card. For personal travel unacceptable.
    Each priest must distinguish between what is personal and what is church owned. private money purchases private items. personal travel must be paid on personal money. Church travel pay on church money. The Monsignor must show the reason for his stay in a hotel was church related.

  4. The cemetery board never resigned, they were fired.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 9:19 am,

      They resigned. The only one who can legally fire them would be the corporation sole. That would be Archbishop Apuron. Bear in mind.....there IS an Archbishop of Agana. Archbishop Hon is NOT the Archbishop of Agana. He is NOT the corporation sole.

  5. It is my belief that the NCW was brought to Guam to initiate a cleansing of not only the Guam Catholic Church, but quite possibly the Catholic Church in general. Whether it be the revelations of sexual assaults, financial mis-management, which in turn led to more scrutinizing of the Neo practices, it's definitely getting people's attention both here on island as well as world wide.
    How it all comes out in the end is still yet to be seen....but something tells me there's still a lot more cleansing to be done before that happens.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 12:46 pm,

      Your belief is incorrect. NCW is an itinerary of Christian formation. However, I agree that the situation that is occurring today is a result of God purifying His Church. It is also the Way that is being persecuting. We are simply fighting the evil that is prevalent in the Church. And we are fighting it not with protests and demonstrations, but with the truth.

    2. Well, I find it curious that for months you have been saying that a person is "innocent until proven guilty" and have defended Archbishop Apuron and never considered he might actually be guilty, but with Mons James, even though an investigation cleared him of any wrong doing, you still claim he is guilty.

      Same with Fr Luis - you refused to believe he was guilty, and referred to an internal Church investigation, which supposedly has happened, and yet we have no evidence of it happening, to show he is innocent.

      Seems like hypocrisy to me.

      Same goes for your constant talk about obedience. Whether you like it or not, Archbishop Hon is the competent ecclesial authority for the Archdiocese, someone to whom you should be obedient, but in practice you have defied time and time again. More hypocrisy.

      In fact, it seems that the NCW is purely words, and contradictory actions. You claim that through the NCW you learn how to love in the dimension of the cross, yet I see no love, only spite, vindictiveness and hatred.

      You have claimed many times that a Christian should not seek justice, particularly in the legal sense, but rather take on the sin of the other, and in that way reflect Jesus Christ. But in practice you are all more keen to get justice through the authorities than even the Jungle.

      Somehow, through all of that, you keep a straight face, and seem to still believe what you say! I suppose that is the evidence of brainwashing, that some people accuse the NCW of using.

    3. Dear Anonymous at 3:32 pm,

      See my comment above at 2:21 pm.

    4. Huh? What's that got to do with what I wrote?

    5. Diana,
      I believe that God is the one who led NCW to Guam for all this to happen. What part of my belief is incorrect, as you said?
      And since NCW was created by man and is subject to man's interpretations of the Word (and Papal instructions), as well as NCW is subject to man's decisions, then it is not perfect. So, the problems it is incurring on Guam and elsewhere causes it to be examined/scrutinized--whether warranted or not.
      But first, you need to be open to the possibility that NCW is not perfect, and some of the problems might need to be fixed. Just as CCOG/LFM needs to be open to the possibility that financial mis-management may have occurred and will need to be fixed.

    6. Dear Anonymous at 5:23 pm,

      Where in any of my comments did I ever said that the NCW was perfect?????

  6. If they got fired or resigned doesn't matter. What matters now is that hopefully the new council pays attention to the cemeteries and cleans it up. The disregard of our deceased family members crypts is unacceptable! They should be held with much more respect and dignity than the past council! It doesn't matter if your neo, non-neo, atheist, Muslim whatever. Just clean up and respect our cemeteries....

    1. Thank you, 2:56PM! Well said!!

  7. I agee but you cannot ignore the fact that Msngr Benevente misused cemetary funds for persinal reasons, stayed in extravigant hotels, and gave away free plots to people. He has to face consiquences for his action.....
    The proof was published on kuam web site. Makes me wonder why ccog, lfm and silent no more groups dont question that but question seminary ownership when they really had no planning on the direction of the church on that issue...only now when they know how much its worth....
    Now on kuam...they covered a storey on making Guam a gay vacation destination and dont fight the good fight of faith...all because of money!!!
    Lord help this island and its people...and they say their catholics.. Give me a break.....

  8. It's really unfortunate that we are at this stage. Isn't the NCW suppose to talk about love, peace and joy? Attacking the church and no harmony is a big problem. I really don't see and biblical mimicking here, rather only divisions from people who claimed to be holy people. Come on, unite not divide. It's very sad to see things like this happening. No offense but the NCW are bible based believers and should have hearts like a river not like stones. It's unfortunate that this is what I see here after reading all this comments.