MANILA - A teary-eyed Sen. Loren Legarda faced the media on Thursday to dispute allegations that she owns a New York condominium unit that she did not declare in her statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
Legarda, who is leading in pre-election surveys, said the accusation is merely part of black propaganda that a senatorial candidate launched to discredit her.
Her suspect: a fellow candidate in the administration's Team PNoy.
"The number 1 senator does not run away," she told reporters, her voice breaking. "'Pag mayroong isyu, hinaharap ko ang tinataya ko ang aking malinis na ngalan."
Legarda showed the media a certification from her lawyers that she declared the property in her SALNs from 2007 to 2012.
The senator said she declared her one-fourth share of the P28.7-million property as "equity in real property" up to 2010 and "real property-USA" as of 2011.
Legarda refused to name the senatorial candidate she believes is behind the black propaganda.
"Ang tawag nga ng media sa kanya, 'Boy Kuryente,'" she said, referring to the candidate's supposed reputation for spreading false information.
Legarda said one of her friends, a columnist, forwarded to her an e-mail containing the story about the condo unit sent by a certain "Willie F.," whom she identified as the candidate's public relations officer.
Earlier, Legarda had denied rumors spreading trough text messages that she filed a bill removing benefits for police personnel, soldiers, and other government workers.
Despite this, Legarda said there are no cracks in the administration's coalition.
She added that she will continue to support her fellow Team PNoy candidates and not resort to negative campaigning.