Focus on whether there is substantial evidence or not. The truth needs to be told. Focus on documentations rather than stories and rumors. The FIRST sign that there may have been some sort of financial mismanagement was in the Deloitte and Touche report in 2014, which can be found here.
After Monsignor James was removed for financial mismanagement, Joe Rivera and a small group of Catholics held a press conference at the steps of the Cathedral to refute the Archbishop's claim of financial mismanagement. They addressed the Deloitte and Touche report. However, their press conference said nothing about the funds taken from Catholic Cemeteries to pay for Monsignor James' anniversary dinner, which was the reason he was removed. You can read the story here.
Through an Internal Review, more misappropriation of funds were discovered. After the Internal Review was made public, Joe Rivera and the former board did NOT come out to address these issues at all.
Is it true that Monsignor James took $13,000 from Catholic Cemeteries to pay for his anniversary dinner? Yes, that is a fact. Is it illegal to use corporation funds for personal use? Yes, that is a fact. Is there substantial evidence that Monsignor James used funds from Catholic Cemeteries to pay for his anniversary dinner? Yes. The evidence are the two checks he signed. Did Monsignor James reimburse the funds he took for his personal use? Yes, that is a fact. And this fact is irrelevant because the law clearly stated that it is illegal to use corporation funds for personal use.
The former cemeteries board under Monsignor James publicly stated that they knew about the funds and approved of it; however, they never produced the 2014 minutes as their evidence. According to Jackie Terlaje, there were no minutes granting such approval. Jackie Terlaje and the former Board have now released a full report of substantial evidence against the alleged misuse of funds. Their full report can be found here. According to PNC news:
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.If a person suspects that a crime has been committed, the right thing to do is to contact the civil authorities. That has already been done. It is important to submit any substantial evidence that one has of any criminal activity. The truth should be known. In order to get rid of corruption, the evidence need to be examined and the truth be told. In order to get rid of darkness, the light of truth needs to shine brightly.