Saturday, March 10, 2018

APURON SEEKS DISMISSAL OF LIBEL CLAIMS

PACFIC DAILY NEWS: Apuron seeks dismissal of libel claims (March 9, 2018)


  • Apuron, through attorney Jacqueline Terlaje, said the plaintiffs have failed to show there was defamation and have failed to establish malice.


  • In Apuron's Feb. 27 court filing, Apuron said he directed, authorized and approved several statements in May, "without any malicious intent to protect his personal interests, and that of the Archdiocese of Agana."


  • The third was an archdiocese statement, denying the statements made by Doris Concepcion, who said Apuron molested her son when he was an altar boy.


Here's what Apuron actually "authorized" to be said:


  • Another malicious and calumnious accusation against the Archbishop has surfaced; this time from the mother of a man who has been deceased for eleven years.


Saying "I didn't do it," is VERY different than accusing Mrs. Concepcion of a "malicious and calumnious accusation." And while I  can't speak for the judge, it is quite obvious to all that this is probably why he did not dismiss the libel portion of the suit. 

Additionally, here is what else Apuron "authorized" to be said in his May 31 press release:


  • Tim Rohr and his associates launched a vicious and calumnious attack on the Archbishop and the Church. 
  • They demanded that the Archbishop return to the former ways of financial administration… 
  • They wanted to sell the seminary in Yona… 
  • The perpetrators of these calumnies have resorted to insults and violence revealing their true intention to destroy the Catholic Church…
  • They have…cruel intent to injure the Archbishop, the Catholic Church in Guam and many other people of good will who have been outraged and harassed.


The accusations against me, Tim Rohr, contained in this May 31, 2016 Media Release, were published as follows:


  • “Tim Rohr and his associates launched a vicious and calumnious attack on the Archbishop and the Church,” the Archdiocese of Agana said. “They demanded that the Archbishop return to the former ways of financial administration, when the archdiocese was increasing debts every year because of mismanagement. They wanted to sell the seminary in Yona to cover the substantial debt accumulated by the previous administration of these three entities. The Archbishop was adamantly opposed to the idea of selling the seminary to cover these debts. Thus began a malicious campaign to denounce and attack the Archbishop at whatever cost to get him out of the way.” - Eugenio, Haidee V. “Archdiocese plans to sue for ‘malicious lies’ again.” Pacific Daily News. Hagatna, Guam. June 1, 2016


The release blames catholic blogger Tim Rohr for "launching a vicious and calumnious attack on the archbishop and the church." The release says that the malicious campaign is in retaliation for refusing to sell the Yona seminary to cover debt from the previous administration. (The news item goes on to quote the May 31, 2016 Media Release from the Chancery in full.) - “Archbishop Apuron Denies Sexually Abusing Doris Concepcion's Son.” Pacific News Center. Hagatna, Guam. May 31, 2016.


  • “Tim Rohr and his associates launched a 'vicious and calumnious attack' on the archbishop and the church,” the statement says. - Guzman, Jaqueline Perry. “Archdiocese responds to new allegation.” The Guam Daily Post. Hagatna, Guam. June 1, 2016.



On June 3, 2016, another Media Release was sent from the Chancery Office of the Archdiocese of Agana to the local Media. 

Referencing, again, the supposed plan to sell the seminary, the Release states in pertinent part:


  • Tim Rohr…had a personal interest in this plan and was supposed to be involved in this multi-million dollar sale as a real estate mediator. 


The accusation against me, Tim Rohr, contained in this Media Release, was published as follows:


  • The church meanwhile is also accusing Martinez of being part of a conspiracy or the "Rohr Group" to topple the archbishop. Tim Rohr operates the JungleWatch blog, which has been critical of the archbishop over the last several years. The church further claims Martinez, who was the former archdiocesan financial officer was incompetent in his position and for six years in a row failed to submit required financial reports to the Vatican.  The archdiocese alleges this finance council conspired to sell the Yona seminary property in order to cover their financial misdeeds. So where does Rohr fit in? According to the church they allege he had a personal interest in the plan and was supposed to be involved in the multi-million dollar sale as a real estate mediator. - Matanane, Sabrina Salas. “Church says there's a plot to topple the archbishop.” KUAM. Hagatna, Guam. June 3, 2016. 


Both media releases, dated May 31 and June 3, 2016, were inscribed on what appears to be the official stationary of the Archdiocese of Agana and nothing in or about the release suggests that it is anything other than an official communication of the Chancery Office of the Archdiocese of Agana. Therefore I must treat the release as official and genuine. And because the release was intended to, and did, have broad circulation, I must treat both communications as an extremely serious matter. 

In addition, the accusation implying that I, Tim Rohr, was part of a conspiracy involving an improper and clandestine real estate transaction is libelous and injurious to my profession and my ability to provide for my family. 

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