"Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops, like bishops, and your religious act like religious." - Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, 1972
THE "OFFICE" OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL VS "THEE" ATTORNEY GENERALor "CT'S GONE WILD!"
On January 20, 2016, Director of Land Management, Michael Borja, wrote Mr. Robert Klitzkie and advised him that he had met with THEE Attorney General of Guam "regarding a remedy to correct a certificate of title which a memorial had been entered in error."
Now before we go on, we must clarify which certificate we are addressing, because now there are THREE certificates for the same property.
Here is the first.
As you will recall, Msgr. David C. Quitugua, Vicar General (the diocesan equivalent of an attorney general), caused to be published in the Umatuna, along with his supporting statements, a picture of a certificate of title for one of the parcels which make up the "Seminary property."
On December 14, 2015, I visited the office of Mr. Santos and inquired about the copy of the certificate published in the Umatuna. Mr. Santos advised that he had noted the missing memorial on the certificate when he went to Mass that weekend (11/29/15) and in fact had already made the correction. And, "further in fact," they (4 certificates for 4 parcels) were just now laying on his desk.
There is a legal process for correcting incorrect certificates of title so I asked who ordered the amended copies. Mr. Santos advised that it was "somebody law offices." I inquired "law offices who?" Mr. Santos did not have an answer so I suggested "Law Office of Jackie Terlaje?"
Mr. Santos did not answer.
I then asked who can order a copy of a certificate of title. Mr. Santos answered "anybody" (since it is a public record). So I asked "can I have a copy of those?" pointing to the amended copies on his desk. Mr. Santos grabbed the certificates and began walking out the door saying "I'll have to ask the person who ordered them." (I guess he suddenly remembered which law office had ordered them.)
I stopped Mr. Santos when I said "I thought you just said 'anybody' can get a copy and now you are telling me you have to get the permission of the person who ordered them???" Mr. Santos stopped and returned to his desk, and then advised "okay, you can pick up the copies tomorrow."
Mr. Klitzkie was with me at this meeting and can vouch for every word of the above. Additionally, I have memorialized this conversation in a sworn statement should it be needed in a future legal proceeding.
The next day, December 15, 2015, Mr. Klitzkie picked up the copies of the amended certificates. But Mr. Klitzkie was not the only person to get copies. On the same day, at 10:43AM, Mr. Santos' assistant, Teresita C. Toves, sent the four amended copies to one firstname.lastname@example.org, with the note: "Hafa Adai Attorney Terlaje, per Andrew Santos, DLM, please see attached titles." See a copy of the email and the attached certificates here.
Obviously the "somebody law offices" per Andrew Santos' answer to my inquiry was the Law Office of Jacqueline Taitano Terlaje, P.C., and it is terribly hard to believe that Mr. Santos had forgotten who ordered the amended certificates since they were emailed to her promptly the next day, and especially since Mr. Santos was apparently going to seek her permission to give me copies on the day I visited him and before I stopped him.
But why would Mr. Santos NOT want to say Attorney Jacqueline T. Terlaje's name? There is nothing wrong with ordering copies of certificates of title. They are public documents. Hmmmm. Unless of course Attorney Jacqueline T. Terlaje did NOT order them and instead had only ORDERED Mr. Santos to "fix" them and send them to her.
Here's what I mean.
As we have seen in a previous post, there is a protocol for ordering certificates of title. A Certificate of Title Request Form must be filled out, filed, and the processing fee of $32.50 paid. As per the first version of these certificates, the Request Form was filled out and filed, but by whom, we don't know. Because though Bertha Evangelista's name and company (Title Guaranty) appears in the "Requested By" box, her signature does not. Nor is there a record of any payment of the processing fee.
But at least the Form was filled out and filed for the copies issued on October 30, 2015. However, in the case of the amended certificates, apparently ordered by Attorney Jacqueline T. Terlaje, there is NO record of the required Request Form.
So obviously the only answer as to why Andrew Santos had the amended forms emailed to Attorney Jacqueline T. Terlaje on December 15, 2015 is that Mr. Santos was complying with a "personal" request from Attorney Jacqueline T. Terlaje (who, as we shall see, is the on again off again legal counsel for the Archbishop of Agana.)
The "personal" request apparently included: 1) skipping the required Request Form, 2) skipping payment of the processing fee, 3) skipping the $2 per memorial charge required by law, and 4) skipping the whole legal process for correcting an incorrect certificate of title. Wow. Apparently if you want to get things done in a hurry, the Law Office of Attorney Jacqueline T. Terlaje is your one stop shop!
Okay, now that you've got a grip on the first two SCAMS aka "certificates of title for the seminary property," let's move on to the latest version. I'll hold off on calling it a SCAM for now and let you decide.
Let's again review here what the Director of Land Management, Michael Borja, told Bob Klitzkie on January 20, 2016:
According to this letter, and according to Mr. Borja's account of his meeting with "the Attorney General of Guam, " Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson, the remedy for the "memorial entered in error" is found in Title 29, Guam Code Annotated, §29195.
Before we can go on, we must stop here and note that there is no such thing as a Title 29 in the Guam Code. The Guam Code ends at Title 22. The section of the Code that Mr. Borja is actually referring to is Title 21, Chapter 29, §29195.
I will link to it here in case you want to read the whole thing, however, the essential element is, as Mr. Borja states: "a person of interest or the registrar is required to petition the court to correct a certificate of title."
Notice first, that now instead of THEE Attorney General, whom Mr. Borja on January 20, 2016 said he had consulted with, it is now the "Office" of the Attorney General. This is important, so hang on to this.
Notice second, that Attorney Jacqueline T. Terlaje is now the "legal counsel for the Archbishop of Agana," a position formerly (?) held by Attorney Ed Terlaje who had been the legal counsel for the Archdiocese for approximately three decades. Though the DLM's press release does not name Attorney Jacqueline T. Terlaje, the Assistant Attorney General and legal counsel to Mr. Borja, Kristan Finney, did name her in a meeting at which Bob Klitzkie was in attendance.
Apparently, Attorney Jacqueline T. Terlaje's ascendancy to the position of legal counsel for the Archdiocese of Agana is a relatively new development since in response to an inquiry by the Guam Post on December 1, 2015, following her "press release" defending the Archbishop's ownership of the property, she identified herself to the Post as acting only as an individual.
Now notice the word "cancellation," and read the following statement from Assistant Attorney General, Kristan Finney in the DLM press release:
There are two major things to note here.
First, Finney's use of 21 GCA 29160 to fix the error is in conflict with her boss, THEE Attorney General, Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson, who, as we have seen in Michael Borja's letter of 20 January 2016, advised that the problem be corrected via subsection 29195 which requires a court proceeding.
Instead, Attorney Finney, junks her boss' stated advice and opts for subsection 29160 which is labeled: Instruments Intended to Create Charges Upon Land: New Certificates.
As you can see, this subsection deals with "New Certificates" and how "Instruments Intended to Create Charges" are recorded on them.
Of course the Certificate that Atty. Finney and Atty. Jacqueline T. Terlaje have "worked out" is NOT a "New Certificate," as the "new certificate" was already created on October 30, 2015 and reincarnated with the errant memorial on December 9, 2015.
So how do Attorneys Finney and Terlaje make this third incarnation NEW? Well, they CANCEL the old ones. Voila! The certificates of October 30 and December 9 suddenly CEASE to exist...
...and we have a BRAND NEW CERTIFICATE...
...and MOST IMPORTANTLY, they can skip the COURT PROCEEDING!
Well done Jacque and Kristan, well done!
Oh, wait a minute, well what do you know! Subsection 29160 makes NO PROVISION for the cancellation of existing certificates of title.
Or does it?
Maybe there's a secret document permitting the Assistant Attorney General to do this, and, like Archbishop Apuron's quest to find the document permitting the Neo's illicit communion rite, she'll just have to "find it somewhere."