QUEZON CITY, Philippines - Filipino indigenous people on Tuesday called on the government to address major issues facing the country's tribes as they marked World's Indigenous Peoples Day, an epa journalist reports.
Jimboy Mandagit of the Tegwahanun tribe and supporters of the Filipino indigenous people rallied at the University of the Philippines library in Quezon City, northeast of Manila, where a photo exhibition on indigenous people is being held.
They held placards calling for the pulling out of military troops from indigenous communities; greater access to social services and education; and the resumption of peace talks between the President Rodrigo Duterte's administration and the National Democratic Front - a coalition of groups representing communist rebels and paramilitary forces.
Paramilitary groups hired by mining firms have been accused of persecuting and killing scores of indigenous people, with thousands of Lumad tribal people fleeing their homes in the southern island of Mindanao in the past two years, according to ABS-CBN broadcaster.
Other demands of the Filipino indigenous population include official recognition of their right to ancestral land and self-determination, and the cessation of the plunder of resources from their territories, according to the Philippine Star newspaper.
World's Indigenous Peoples Day was established by the United Nations in 1994 and seeks to promote and protect the rights of indigenous people across the world.