From Rappler (Nov 26): Remember Zamboanga? Misuari's fake UN ally arrested
American Daniel Xavier allegedly worked with Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari to mislead hundreds of Muslim fighters who attacked Zamboanga City in September. He supposedly introduced himself to them as a representative of the United Nations (UN), promising support for their call for the re-negotiation of 1996 peace agreement between the government and the MNLF.
Xavier was arrested on Tuesday, November 26, at 3:30 am in Bulua, Cagayan De Oro City, near a bus terminal, police sources told Rappler. He was brought to the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit based in the northern Mindanao city.
The UN flagged the activities of Xavier in Mindanao as early as July, or 2 months before the Zamboanga siege.
“The UN in the Philippines has been informed that a certain [Mr. Daniel Xavier] is falsely claiming to represent the UN in particular in Mindanao. He has, in this false capacity, engaged with various persons and agencies in Mindanao,” the UN earlier said in a statement.
He was supposedly spotted in Sulu a week before the attack in Zamboanga City. Misuari, Malik and many of the fighters are from Sulu but other fighters from nearby provinces also joined them.
Xavier is among at least 60 individuals, along with Misuari, who are facing rebellion charges over the bloody Zamboanga siege that killed 25 government troops, 12 civilians, and hundreds of rebels.
MNLF Commander Habier Malik, who led the attack, is presumed dead although his body has not been found. He was Misuari's top lieutenant. (READ: Habier Malik 'obviously' dead)
There are reports that Misuari has left the country. About 300 MNLF fighters were captured during and after the siege.
Julhaina Cadon, BDA-PLEDGE Program Coordinator, was among the international delegates who joined the training entitled Value Chain Development for Descent Work: Reaching Scale, Fostering Sustainability and Promoting Equity at the International Labour Organization (ILO)-International Training Centre, Turin, Italy on November 11-15, 2013.
Cadon leads the implementation of PLEDGE which primarily focuses on enhanced community ownership for sustainable livelihood and the development of human resources.
Still in the early phase of execution, PLEDGE program helps develop value-added chain on local products from the grassroots communities thereby increasing its quality and profitability and further aims to generate more employment opportunities.
Cadon shared in the training the BDA’s experience in implementing PLEDGE Program, “given that the communities being served are conflict-affected.”
Value chain development practitioners coming from different countries in the world attended the event which aims to empower small enterprises (SEs) to sell to more stable, higher volume or higher value markets.
Cadon related, “The workshop enables participants to share knowledge with partners and stakeholders about the value chain development principles and applications.”
In implementing PLEDGE, Cadon said “We have recently conducted values chain analysis and this training is very useful for the implementation of PLEDGE program.” The training is filled with workshops, lecture and experiences-sharing.
She further elucidated, “This contributes to the design and implementation of market driven value chain development projects using a participatory approach.”
PLEDGE is one of the components of the Mindanao Trust Fund Reconstruction and Development Program (MTF-RDP) administered by the World Bank, and ILO as its trust fund recipient (TFR).
The program is aimed on the creation of sustainable livelihood in communities enhancing community ownership through participatory approach and with enhanced support networks and services.
BDA continues in providing capacity-building support to its staff to become more effective “agents of change.” The agency, which was created in 2001, has been the lead entity working for the rehabilitation and development of conflict affected areas in Mindanao with the help of local and international partners.
At present, BDA also dwells in formulating the Bangsamoro Development Plan that will serve as a blue-print for the holistic development of Bangsamoro homeland to be implemented by the upcoming “Bangsamoro” a New Political Entity that will replace the ARMM.