MANILA - Senator Leila de Lima on Sunday denied ever saying that the Duterte administration orchestrated the deadly explosion in Davao City as a prelude to declaring Martial Law.
In a statement, the lawmaker's office added that she never released a statement saying, "Davao is not the safest place after all."
"Obviously, this statement maliciously attributed to her is part of the disinformation campaign designed to discredit her," said the camp of de Lima, who is a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody campaign against drugs and criminals.
Duterte has accused de Lima of "flaunting" an affair with her former driver, who allegedly received drug money to fund her senatorial campaign. The senator has denied the charges.
De Lima's office said she will also issue an official statement today about the Davao attack, which prompted the President to declare a nationwide "state of lawless violence."
Duterte, a long-time mayor of Davao City, has stressed that his declaration is different from martial law as there will be "no curfews" and "no suspension of the writ of habeas corpus."
(READ: What is 'state of lawlessness'?)
Philippine National Police chief Dir. Gen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, another Davaoeño, has also taken offense at speculations that the blast was carried out to justify an eventual declaration of martial law in the country.
(READ: Witnesses, CCTV clips of Davao blast now in police custody)