Erlindo “Lino” Baez and Wilfredo Capareño were arrested together by 50 police officers in Quezon on October 6, 2021. They allegedly found weapons, which Baez and Capareño deny.
Capareño has long been active in working with peasants. In 2019, he was accused of being a member of the New People’s Army (NPA). He has been working with Baez for two years. They supported, for example, people during the strict lockdown and people affected by the Taal volcano eruption. Baez advocates for land rights and is a former human rights activist with Karapatan. One of his sons, Ronilo, has been a political prisoner since 2010; his other son Edrean was a member of the Anakbayan youth organization and was killed in a military operation on May 26, 2021.
Baez was already targeted by a house raid on March 7, 2021, as part of the so-called Bloody Sunday. Fortunately, he was not at home at the time. He was then charged with illegal possession of firearms. This charge was dropped on October 25, because the search warrant was not lawful. Thus, Baez is among a total of 22 people to date who have been cleared for this very reason.
However, Baez has not yet been released from detention, but has been transferred from Tanauan to Quezon, as charges based on the Oct. 6 house search remain. The human rights group Karapatan continues to demand the dismissal of all arrest warrants related to the so-called Bloody Sunday and the release of Erlindo Baez and Wilfredo Capareño.