MANILA - Communist rebels are willing to work with government against extremist groups in the south despite the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, a senior adviser for the leftists said Monday.
Like government, leftist groups also oppose the Maute and Abu Sayaf groups for attacking civilians, National Democratic Front (NDF) senior adviser Luis Jalandoni said.
"In that sense, the CPP-NPA would be together with the Duterte government in opposing the Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf," Jalandoni told ANC's Early Edition.
President Rodrigo Duterte said over the weekend he would treat communist and Muslim rebels the same as state forces if they join the government fight extremist groups.
"I will hire you as soldiers - same pay, same privileges, and I will build houses for you in some areas," the President said during a visit to an army base in Jolo, Sulu.
Jalandoni's pronouncement came after the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines ordered its troops intensify offensives against government following the martial law declaration.
This declaration from the rebels prompted the government to suspend the fifth round of peace negotiations over the weekend.
Government Peace Panel Adviser Ed Pamintuan lauded the communist group's willingness to work with the government to quell terrorism, saying a tactical alliance is a stepping stone to advance the peace process.
"I think it is but right for the CPP-NPA-NDFP to find a common ground, to have a tactical alliance at this time to face a common international enemy," he said in an interview with ANC's Early Edition.
Pamintuan added, they are not closing the doors to any group that seeks peace with the government.