Filipino authorities on Tuesday arrested a man long wanted for falsely representing the United Nations in the Philippines and is also being linked to a failed rebellion in the southern region of Mindanao, officials said.
Officials said Xavier Daniel was arrested by a composite group of police intelligence agents near a bus terminal in Cagayan de Oro City in northern Mindanao. Daniel was allegedly posing as a UN representative and in several occasions introduced himself as a member of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency.
Daniel, whose nationality was not immediately known, was linked to the rebellion launched by Moro National Liberation Front under Nur Misuari in Zamboanga City in September and the fighting lasted three weeks and left over 400 people dead and wounded.
Local police have filed charges against Daniel in connection to the rebellion along with Misuari and lieutenants and loyal followers.
“Police filed charges of rebellion and violation of the International Humanitarian Law against Daniel along with other MNLF members, including Chairman Nur Misuari, relative to the Zamboanga City siege. The suspect pretended to be a representative of the United Nations and assured the Moro National Liberation Front Chairman of the UN’s support in his declaration of independence,” said Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca, a regional police spokesman.
Arjun Jain, the UN Area Security Coordinator ad interim in Mindanao, said they informed the Filipino government about Daniel, who allegedly passes himself off as the UN representative in the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao, and that he has, in this false capacity, engaged with various persons and agencies in Mindanao.
“The United Nations wishes to categorically state that it has no relationship with any person by this name and that no such person has in the past, or currently is authorized to represent the United Nations or any official of the United Nations in relation to any matter concerning the Philippines,” Jain said.
“The UN wishes to take this opportunity to reiterate its commitment to support all parties involved in bringing peace to Mindanao, being an active supporter to, inter alia, the ongoing peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.”
It was not immediately known whether Daniel had contacted the MILF or entered into any business transactions or agreement with Filipino firms or government agencies or the rebel group which is currently negotiating peace with Manila.
Huesca said they are still awaiting detailed reports about the arrest of Daniel in Cagayan de Oro. “We are still waiting for the report, but Daniel is now in the custody of the Regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit for proper documentation,” he said.
Misuari and his lieutenants headed by Ustadz Kabir Malik are still at large and are believed to have escaped to Indonesia or the Middle East. AL JACINTO