The peace process between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is a showcase of a new type of conflict resolution. This process included development and a hybrid form of peacekeeping aside from peacemaking endeavors.
Japan’s assistance to the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao demonstrated the notion of human security with a tripartite cooperation arrangement consisting of the International Monitoring Team, the Mindanao Task Force, and the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiative for Reconstruction and Development. Above all, Japan’s participation in the International Monitoring Team opened new pathways for the country to carry out comprehensive support to Mindanao by bridging peace and development.
Japan remained in Mindanao even after the peace negotiations reached a stalemate in October 2008. That was the period when the empowerment of local communities and people were at stake under a volatile cease-fire agreement. Japan, in collaboration with local security providers, continued assistance in the conflict-affected areas. In parallel with this effort, the Consolidation of Peace Seminar played a role in introducing local consultation into the peace process; bridging the gap between local civil society and the negotiating panels.
These multifaceted endeavors supported local communities in their quest for peace during a critical period of the peace process.
Keywords: human security, Mindanao, sovereignty, empowerment, self-contained assistance