American couple in Bohol trafficking case cleared

By: Leo Udtohan November 10,2016 - 09:54 PM

The American couple accused of running an illegal orphanage of 38 children mostly coming from Cebu was released on Tuesday after the complaints of human trafficking and child abuse against them were dismissed.

Matthew Dwinells, 56, and his wife Dalisay, 63, walked out of the detention cell of the National Bureau of Investigation in Tagbilaran City after the NBI received the order from the City Prosecutor’s Office.

NBI-Bohol supervising agent Arcelito Albao said that Tagbilaran City Prosecutor Julius Cesar dismissed the complaints filed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) against the couple for lack of probable cause.

Cesar, in his resolution, stressed that the couple merely lacked documents and permit to run an orphanage.

He said the DSWD failed to prove that the couple committed human trafficking and child abuse especially that the children were neither forced to stay in the facility nor used to work for profit.

The Dwinells, who founded the Street Kids Mission Philippines, were arrested by NBI agents in a raid conducted on two-story house in Barangay Bool in this city last Oct. 22 for operating an orphanage without a permit and for failing to present proofs that the children were taken from their homes with the consent of their parents.

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TAGS: bohol, Matthew Dwinells, NBI, Tagbilaran City

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