Asked if she has a personal relationship with her driver Ronnie Dayan, Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday said she was “very close to him.”
"I was very close to him, but I wouldn’t want to be publicly speaking about it. It’s too personal for me," she said on ANC's Headstart with Karen Davila.
Dayan, according to President Rodrigo Duterte, was De Lima's lover aside from serving as her driver. He has not been seen in public since the President linked him to the illegal drug trade in August.
De Lima and Dayan allegedly had a sex video together, and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre once threatened to play it at the House of Representatives' probe into the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison to establish De Lima's connection to the drug network.
But De Lima denied anew her involvement in the video.
"It is not me as far as I’m concerned because I cannot imagine an instance, could not remember anything where it could be possible that there is such a video-taking," she said.
She said she refuses to watch the video but some members of her staff who have seen it have told her that it wasn't her in the controversial clip.
She noted, the allegations regarding the video have long been circulating, recalling that someone has also threatened to release it while she was undergoing the confirmation process of her appointment as Justice Secretary during the previous administration.
De Lima maintained, she does not think it is "proper" for people to be intruding into her personal life, and that these videos purported to be of her and her lover are part of the administration's attacks.
"I would not want to be publicly engaging relative to that issue because I know that they are just really only amplifying all this as part of the whole character assassination strategy that this president is undertaking for months already," she said.
She reiterated the allegations are also a form of harassment.
"It is a violation, a gross violation of my rights and my dignity as a woman, this slut-shaming technique that they’re doing in an effort to crush me, to crush and break my spirit because what could be too personal or what can be too personal for a woman than her womanhood being attacked," she said.
"It’s a virtual rape actually. And I want people, especially the men, to realize that—that they cannot just do that, they cannot just get away with that, with using this tactic of slut-shaming," she added.