In an interview with GMA News anchor Jessica Soho, Duterte was
asked which problem loomed bigger for the country: drugs or terrorism?
"Ang problema, there seems to be a merger of identities between a clear case of drugs and doon sa Maute," Duterte said.
"May koneksyon na kasi iyong nakuha naming kampo, there was this big laboratory. May malaking laboratory talaga sa droga and it was a camp," he added.
Duterte, however, did not elaborate on the claim.
Earlier this month, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said they had evidence that members of the Maute Group were using drugs, which were discovered in hiding places in Butig, Lanao del Sur.
AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the Maute Group may be using drugs to recruit younger members. He added that the bandits could be using drugs to remain alert during the military's offensive operations.
"Maaaring ginagamit po nila 'yan para mahikayat nila at manatili sa hanay nila. Para manatiling alerto at gising sa kanilang pinagkukutaan," Padilla told radio dzBB.
The offensive was launched by the military at the time after the Maute Group occupied an area of Butig town and replaced the Philippine flag with the black ISIS flag at the old municipal hall compound.