The lawyer of human trafficking suspects Matthew and Dalisay Dwinells countered allegations hurled against the couple citing the lack of three â€œcriminal elementsâ€ for his clients to be considered as violators of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act.
According to Atty. Handel Lagunay, the Dwinells did not profit from taking into their custody the 38 rescued children through prostitution or child labor.
The Dwinells couple did not take the children to Bohol by force or by making threats, Lagunay added.
In an interview with DYRD Balita, the lawyer also denied accusations pointing out that the children who are mostly from Cebu and Leyte were taken to Bohol without their familiesâ€™ permission.
Lagunay, however, admitted the Dwinellses lack of permit to run the â€œshelter houseâ€ in Legones St., Brgy. Bool, Tagbilaran City.
He explained that his clients were already having the requirements processed to legalize their operation of the orphanage but encountered delays.
The couple has been living in the country for several years and has not encountered problems in their stay as they hold complete documents as missionaries who help the poor particularly street children.
According to Lagunay, their camp is preparing to file a counter affidavit while witnesses for the defense have been gathered. (Allen Doydora)
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