Senator Cynthia Villar on Wednesday said her hometown of Las Piñas City decided to buy Covid-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca and Novovax because the local government did not have confident that the national government would be able to deliver the vaccines for the residents of the city.

Villar: Las Piñas buying its own vaccines amid concerns national government can’t deliver

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Senator Cynthia Villar on Wednesday said her hometown of Las Piñas City decided to buy Covid-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca and Novovax because the local government did not have confident that the national government would be able to deliver the vaccines for the residents of the city.

“We are afraid that no vaccine will be arriving in Las Piñas,” she said during Senate plenary deliberations on a bill expediting procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.

During the interpellation on Senate Bill 2057 or the Covid-19 Vaccination Program Act, Villar said given the length of time the national government is taking to procure the vaccines, many local government units are doubting the arrival of the vaccines.

“This is not misuse of resources. I told our mayor, ‘even if you do nothing for Las Pinas, but you were able to vaccinate the people, they will be happy,’” she said.

“So we are buying, we are buying for the whole use of Las Pinas except for our entitlement from COVAX which is 20 percent,” Villar said.

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POLITIKO / Across the Nation

POLITIKO / Latest News

French billionaire MP Olivier Dessault dies in helicopter crash, 69

By Agence France-Presse

French billionaire Olivier Dassault, a politician and scion of the Dassault aircraft-making family, was killed in a helicopter crash Sunday, with President Emmanuel Macron paying tribute to a captain of industry who “never stopped serving our country”.

Dassault died around 6 pm (1700 GMT) when his aircraft crashed near Deauville in northern France, parliamentary and investigation sources told AFP.

Macron was quick to pay homage to the 69-year-old member of parliament, saying in a tweet that “Olivier Dassault loved France. Captain of industry, local MP, reserve commander in the air force; throughout his life he never stopped serving our country.”

Macron called his death “a great loss” and sent his condolences to Dassault’s family.

Sources close to the crash enquiry said the pilot of the helicopter was also killed, and that no one else was on board.

“I am thinking of his family and loved ones who must feel terrible pain,” said Richard Ferrand, president of the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament in which Dassault served as a representative for the Oise area of northern France.

Many of Dassault’s colleagues on the political right also paid tribute to the son of Serge Dassault and grandson of Marcel Dassault, who built up one of the biggest family fortunes in France.

Allegations ain’t enough: NY guv Cuomo refuses to resign amid sexual harassment scandal

By Agence France-Presse

Embattled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo dug in further on Sunday, refusing again to resign despite criticism from influential fellow Democrats over a sexual harassment scandal.

“I’m not going to resign because of allegations,” the governor said, speaking after Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the leader of the New York state senate, said he should step down “for the good of the state.”

“There is no way I resign,” Cuomo said.

Stewart-Cousins said in a statement that the harassment allegations against Cuomo by former aides came at a critical time, as the state battles Covid-19 and amid allegations that Cuomo’s administration mishandled its initial pandemic response.

“We need to govern without daily distraction,” Stewart-Cousins said. “Governor Cuomo must resign.”

Carl Heastie, the Democratic leader of the lower chamber, the state assembly, issued a statement shortly afterward saying, “I think it is time for the governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York,” the New York Times reported.

Cuomo, initially praised for his state’s handling of the pandemic, has suffered a spectacular fall from grace, with Republicans and his accusers also calling for his resignation.

One former aide, Lindsey Boylan, has alleged that the governor gave her an unsolicited kiss on the lips and suggested that they play strip poker, allegations he has denied.

“I never touched anyone inappropriately,” Cuomo said Wednesday, while adding that he now understood that he had made his accusers feel “uncomfortable.”

“It was unintentional. And I truly, and deeply apologize,” he said.

State Attorney General Letitia James is leading an inquiry into the allegations.

Lalaki’t babae, pantay! Elevate women in society – Duterte

By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged Filipinos to increase the role that women play in society and break remaining barriers for their empowerment.

“Let us elevate women to their rightful place in society by empowering every Filipina to break not only the barriers that have long hindered them from reaching their full potential, but also the backward mindset that fueled a culture of gender oppression and inequality,” Duterte said in his message during the Women’s Month Celebration.

The Chief Executive claimed that his government has taken “concrete, sustainable and inclusive actions” to ensure women’s rights and contributions are recognized.

He likewise enjoined everyone to help amplify the voice of women and promote their participation in the economies to the same level as men.

“While there is still much to be done to completely free women from this bondage of inequality, we can nonetheless proudly claim that concrete, sustainable, and inclusive actions have been taken by our government to create an environment where women’s rights are respected and their contributions to society are recognized,” said Duterte.

“I therefore encourage every Filipino to join us in celebrating the indispensable role of women in our nation’s progress by participating in this month-long celebration and supporting advocacies that seek to fight for and acknowledge the inalienable rights of women as equal partners of men,” he added.



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