On 01 September 2017, more than 3,000 Moro and Indigenous Peoples converged in Manila to demand that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte fulfill his promise to bring genuine peace and development to national minorities.
However, during Duterte’s first year in office, more than 40 Moro and Indigenous Peoples have become victims of extrajudicial killings. Military forces and the Maute group have also been fighting in central Mindanao, displacing over 500,000 people, most of them Moros. Many of the internally displaced people live in evacuation camps where food and other basic necessities are scarce. Thousands more Indigenous Peoples have been displaced from their ancestral lands due to militarization and development aggression.
The first day of Lakbayan 2017 featured the Salubungan (Convergence) in Manila, where national minorities from all over the Philippines met with each other in a symbolic show of unity for the struggle for self-determination. In a collaborative project by Lente’s members, this photo essay shows the faces of the national minorities who continue to struggle so that future generations may finally be free.