De Lima: Respect my privacy

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Embattled senator Leila De Lima called on the public Tuesday to respect her right to privacy, a day after admitting her romantic past with her former driver and bodyguard.

"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," De Lima said in a statement.

"I do hope that you will respect my right to privacy over my personal life and not impute any more malice," she added.

In an interview with columnist Winnie Monsod on a show on GMA News aired on Monday, De Lima admitted she had an affair with her former driver and bodyguard Ronnie Dayan for a few years, before she was elected as senator in May. She attributed the experience to the "frailties of a woman."

The TV interview was her first public admission of an affair with Dayan, who is alleged to be the bagman of money from the illegal drug trade that flourished in the national penitentiary during De Lima's term as Justice Secretary.

Prior to this, De Lima would only say she had "close ties" with Dayan, who is reportedly in hiding after receiving death threats.

Read: De Lima's driver and alleged lover receiving death threats

In the statement on Tuesday, De Lima criticized the "unjust, unfair and false allegations and fabricated lies against my alleged involvement in the drug trade."

Despite the allegations, she said she remained committed to stopping alleged extrajudicial killings in the country and was "more determined in pursuing this goal despite the danger to my life and reputation."

Affair linked to illegal drug trade

In August, President Rodrigo Duterte said De Lima's relationship with Dayan "gave rise" to corruption in the New Bilibid Prison.

Read: Duterte: De Lima affair with driver 'gave rise' to NBP corruption

The President said conversations intercepted with the help of a country friendly to the Philippines showed proof of the affair and of Dayan's role in the spread of illegal drugs and other contraband at the penitentiary.

Days later, De Lima said she was "willing to resign, willing to be shot in front of the President" if drug allegations hurled against her are proven true.

Read: De Lima willing to be shot if drug links proven

The House of Representatives launched an investigation into the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs inside the national penitentiary.

Witnesses in the congress hearings, which included high-profile inmates and convicted drug lords, testified that they paid then-Justice Secretary De Lima millions of pesos to allow them to continue the illegal drug trade inside the jail.

Read: 'De Lima allowed entry of drugs, contraband in Bilibid for money'

Convicted robber Herbert Colanggo said drug lord Jaybee Sebastian approached him in January 2014 asking him to sell illegal drugs in order to raise funds for De Lima's senatorial bid in the May 2016 elections.

Witnesses identified Dayan as De Lima's former driver and bodyguard, who also allegedly collected drug money on behalf of De Lima.

De Lima's former aide Joenel Sanchez also claimed the lady senator and Dayan were in a romantic relationship.

Sanchez claimed De Lima and Dayan broke up because of a certain Warren Cristobal, another security aide of De Lima.

The House Committee on Justice held Dayan in contempt for ignoring its summons, and ordered a warrant for his arrest.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Cecille Lardizabal contributed to this report.