The Tagbilaran City Prosecutorâ€™s office has dismissed the human trafficking and child abuse complaints filed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) against US citizens Matthew and Dalisay Dwinells.
According to the 29-page resolution signed by Tagbilaran City prosecutor Julius Cesar, no probable cause was found against the respondents in relation to the charges.
Cesar, in an interview with DYRD Balita, said that based on his resolution, the Dwinellses did not commit the alleged criminal offenses as the American couple merely lacked documents and permit to run their orphanage.
He noted that there had been no elements indicating that the couple committed human trafficking or child abuse as the children were not forcefully taken into their custody.
The Dwinellses also did not force or use the children to work for profit, which is the issue in some child abuse cases, Cesar added.
Through the course of the investigation, none of the children who lived with the Dwinellses raised complaints against Dalisay and Matthew.
WHAT WENT BEFORE: Dwinellses charged with human trafficking, child abuse
The coupleâ€™s lawyer, Atty. Handel Lagunay, said that the Tagbilaran City Prosecutorâ€™s Office on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of his clients following the dismissal.
However, Cesar said that the DSWD and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) can file a motion for reconsideration should they choose to push through with the complaints.
He added that the DSWD can also opt to assist the Dwinells in making their orphanage legitimate by helping them in securing documents and permits.
Dalisay and Matthew Dwinells were arrested by NBI agents in a raid conducted in Barangay Bool on October 22 for housing minors at an orphanage and transporting them to Bohol from Cebu and Leyte without permits. (Allen Doydora)