Prof. Jose Maria Sison, National Democratic Front of the Philippines Chief Political Consultant ( file photo)

NOORDWIJK AAN ZEE, The Netherlands — The National Democratic Front of the Philippines said it is one with the Philippine government in fighting local terrorists groups.

Jose Maria Sison, chief political consultant of the NDFP said even President Rodrigo Duterte told NDFP panel chairperson Fidel Agcaoili that the government and the communists should unite against terrorist groups like the Maute group which perpetrated the attacks in Marawi City recently, and the Abu Sayyaf group.

“We in the NDFP are together with the GRP in opposing and fighting the ISIS-affiliated and CIA-supported groups like the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf,” Sison said.

The NDFP-Mindanao has previously condemned the attack by the Maute group in Marawi.

“The recent siege in Marawi City by the so-called Maute Group, which is being made to appear as having links with ISIS, was a brutal assault against the people of Marawi. We condemn in the strongest terms possible this attack, which has mercilessly caused the deaths of a number of individuals and the destruction of livelihood and properties in the city,” it said in a statement on Thursday.

But the NDFP Mindanao maintained that the problem with the Maute group is only a result of the long-standing Moro problem.

“For decades, the Moro people in Mindanao have been thrown into a perpetual state of oppression, exploitation and chauvinism, which has only made it possible for groups with extremist ideals to take root among their ranks,” it added.

Meanwhile, Sison condemned the statement of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that the NPA is also a target of the Mindanao-wide martial law citing the clarification on the side of the GRP that the NPA is not targeted by the declaration.

Government Peace Panel Chairperson Silvestre Bello III in a statement said: “The President, in no uncertain terms, categorically declared he was not after the NPA. He, in fact, reiterated his keenness on pursuing peace.”

Sison added that the incident in Marawi should not be an obstacle to the fifth round of formal talks which is scheduled here from May 27 to June 1.

Sison said that the terrorist attack “should be an incentive to the GRP and NDFP to meet and agree to fight groups that are terrorist because they target, terrorize and harm civilians solely or mainly.”

He also said that the NDFP Negotiating Panel has recommended to the National Executive Committee of the NDFP “and in effect the Central Committee of the CPP to reconsider the order to the NPA to intensify tactical offensives as response to the Lorenzana statement that the NPA is a target of martial law.”(

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