Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday appealed for privacy over her personal life after admitting that she had a romantic affair with her former driver, Ronnie Dayan.
In a statement sent to reporters, De Lima said some decisions she made in the past have not always been the “wisest.”
“I have already said my piece and I would not want to add anything more other than what I have repeatedly said in the past interviews. I do hope that you will respect my right to privacy over my personal life and not impute any more malice,” De Lima said.
She said however that she wanted to get things straight for the sake of her supporters.
“Like many of us, including my detractors, some decisions and relationships in our past have not been the best and the wisest. I have learned from these experiences and resolved to use my pain to focus on the good I can do,” De Lima said.
Up until the television interview which aired on GMA News TV’s “Bawal ang Pasaway with Mareng Winnie” on Monday night, De Lima had neither confirmed nor denied her special relationship with Dayan, which the senator said lasted for a “few years.”
De Lima described her involvement with her driver as “frailties of a woman.”
De Lima, former chair of the Commission and Human Rights and Secretary of the Department of Justice, said she has not allowed her personal life to affect his work as a public official.
De Lima had been accused of receiving payoffs from drug lords inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) through Dayan, among others.
“My record and my reputation have been untarnished until now because of all these unjust, unfair and false allegations and fabricated lies against my alleged involvement in the drug trade,” De Lima said.
“I have made my peace with my past and my family. I don’t know if my primary attacker can say the same,” she added referring to President Rodrigo Duterte.
The senator said she will focus her efforts in putting a stop to alleged extrajudicial killings and summary executions happening in the country.
“I am even more determined in pursuing this goal despite the danger to my life and reputation,” De Lima said.
On Tuesday, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo said De Lima should resign after admitting that she had a relationship with Dayan.
Panelo in a statement sent to reporters said that De Lima’s admission of her “romantic albeit illegal and moral liaison with her bodyguard-driver” validated the claim of President Rodrigo Duterte that the former Justice Secretary “committed unlawful and immoral acts and opens her to a criminal charge of adultery her lover being a married man.”