Updated Mar 7, 2019, 7:54:53 PM
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 7)— Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Thursday issued a clarification on her earlier controversial statement, while taking another swipe at the opposition senatorial slate.
"I'm helping the black hole candidates dig themselves out of their own hole when I say honesty should not be an issue," Duterte-Carpio said in a statement.
She also advised the slate not to attack other candidates when "they are themselves liars."
"They use inaccurate, misleading statements and even direct lies when they attack other candidates or President (Rodrigo) Duterte, and they know they are stretching the truth and yet they deny that they are lying," the presidential daughter said. "That is the reason why they should not attack other candidates about honesty because they are themselves liars. And this is the truth."
The Hugpong ng Pagbabago leader on Wednesday said all candidates "have been telling lies"-- in response to accusations that senatorial hopeful Bong Go, President Rodrigo Duterte's former special assistant, has been using public funds for his campaign.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo meanwhile said the mayor is entitled to her own opinion.
"Baka naman ang gusto niyang sabihin (maybe what she wants to say is), everybody gives white lies," the spokesman said in his media briefing Thursday.
"If I were a candidate, the issue would be performance, character... Kasama lahat doon pati yung (everything is included including the) behavior mo. She's entitled to her own opinion. It's a free country," he added.
Vice President Leni Robredo said she disagreed with Duterte-Carpio's sentiment, noting that candidates should remain upfront and transparent during the campaign period.
"Kasi iyong kampanya, ito iyong paraan para makilala natin iyong mga kandidato. Iyong kampanya, ito iyong paraan para makapagdesisyon nang tama iyong taumbayan kung sino iyong kaniyang bobotohan. Kung ang premise nito kasinungalingan, parang ang dinadaya natin, taumbayan," Robredo said during an interview Thursday in Cagayan.
[Translation: Our campaign is the way for Filipinos to get to know the candidates, and to help them decide wisely. If its premise is dishonesty, it's like we're deceiving the citizenry.]
Duterte-Carpio previously lashed out at the opposition over its supposed "obsession" about a debate challenge, calling the slate a "black hole."
Her father President Rodrigo Duterte also recently attacked the opposition bets, saying they were heading to hell.
CNN Philippines' Joyce Ilas and Alyssa Rola contributed to this report.