In KUAM news today, Jackie Terlaje is not backing down. The complaint against Monsignor James Benavente was already filed with the Guam Police Department and the Attorney General's Office, and she intends to pursue it. According to Jackie's Press Release, the vote was unanimous and there were no minutes approving $13,000 to give to Monsignor James for his anniversary dinner. In a written letter, dated 2016, the former board wrote that they knew about the money and had approved of it. However, there were no official minutes to show they approved it in 2014. According to Jackie's Press Release (the bold is mine):
Today, I address the statements of the Archdiocese of Agana accusing me of falsifying a certification of a Resolution, as the Secretary of the Board of Directors ("Board") of the Catholic Cemeteries of Guam, Inc. ("Catholic Cemeteries"), and renouncing the authority of the Board to make complaints of the misuse of funds entrusted to us by the Archbishop of Agana, Archbishop Anthony Apuron.
First, the Board unanimously authorized the Resolution dated September 30, 2016, and each Director specifically authorized me to execute the certification. Each Director must act in good conscience and speak the truth. I have not been notified by any Director of any objection nor any change of mind on the subject matter.
Second, I want to be abundantly clear, that I am not the attorney for the Catholic Cemeteries. I do not represent the Catholic Cemeteries in my legal capacity. I am merely a public servant who provides a community service to the non-profit corporation, and to which I serve as a Director of the Board, and as the Secretary.
Third, the Board is authorized to "manage and direct the affairs...operations...property and funds of the Corporation, "pursuant to Article III of its Bylaws. All records released on the Guam Police Department (GPD) and the Office of the Attorney General (AG) are property of the Catholic Cemeteries, and subject to the authority of the Board.
Fourth, as the Secretary of the Board, it is my responsibility to maintain the records of the Corporation. There are no corporate records or meeting minutes supporting the Archdiocese's statement that "The previous board of directors had approved the advancement of the funds and thus the advancement of funds was proper and authorized." As Director and Secretary, I respectfully disagree that the use of funds paid for the burial of the deceased may be used for a private celebration for the person benefit of any director, officer, or employee of the Catholic Cemeteries.
Fifth, I acknowledge receipt of the demand and threat of legal action by attorney David Lujan to immediately withdraw the complaint filed with GPD and AG. However, I will not unilaterally withdraw a statement authorized by the Board; the facts provided to GPD and the AG are the truth, and I am obliged as an officer of the Catholic Cemeteries to protect the funds entrusted to me by the deceased, and by the numerous Catholic families who have buried their loved ones with the Catholic Cemeteries.
finally, as a Catholic, I too am deeply saddened by the state of affairs in the Archdiocese, Fr. Jeff San Nicolas has graciously extended the olive branch and his apology. I have accepted his apology, and agree that we must find a way to seek the truth and conciliation for the Church that we all love. The Catholic Cemeteries Board have also extended to him an invitation to join us at our board meeting today to discuss further these issues, and to find an amicable solution.