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Business

The new ‘Firm’ firmly behind Jojo Binay

SPY BITS - The Philippine Star

Villaraza & Angangco Law chairman and CEO Pancho Villaraza invited Manila’s top 400 for cocktails at the Rainmakers Lounge of the V&A Law Center in Bonifacio Global City to introduce the new managing partners of “The Firm.” The law firm’s high value clients, several politicians and businessmen turned up to welcome Alejandro Navarro and Augusto San Pedro Jr., both of whom have impeccable credentials that will certainly make V&A Law even more of a legal powerhouse. Both Navarro and San Pedro are from the UP College of Law, graduating at the top 10 of their classes.

During the cocktails, Pancho made a bet for a case of Dom Pérignon with jet-setting philanthropist Nene Quimson that Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas would lose to Vice President Jojo Binay in the May presidential elections. Nene gamely called the wager, with the two firmly shaking hands on the bet. Pancho is known as a staunch supporter of the vice president. It’s quite clear “The Firm” is firmly behind the candidacy of Jojo Binay.

Balesin acquires new jet

Members of Alphaland’s exclusive Balesin Island Club are excited over the newly acquired ATR72 500 that landed in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport the other day after a four-day ferry flight from Toulouse, France.  The 68-seater ATR72 500, which is one of the most popular regional aircrafts worldwide, will beef up the aviation fleet of Alphaland that includes the Jetstream 32. Once all the regulatory requirements are completed most likely by next week, the aircraft will be in service for Club members and guests.

The 500-hectare ultra high-end island resort located in Quezon province is receiving a lot of guests especially at this time of the year, with the reservations for the Holy Week almost full at 95 percent.

Maserati unveils new SUV

More than a decade after it first disclosed plans of joining the SUV crossover market, Italian sports car manufacturer Maserati finally unveiled its first ever SUV at the Geneva Motor Show. Called the Levante – which is the name of a warm easterly Mediterranean wind – the $76,000 luxury vehicle is expected to bring the winds of change that would improve the fortunes of thousands of Italian automobile industry workers who have been laid off following the financial crisis. 

The Levante is set to challenge the supremacy of BMW, Bentley and the Porsche, with the SUV to go on sale in Europe this May while North American buyers will have to wait until September to get their hands on the vehicle. The new entrant is expected to enhance the visibility of Maserati, which has had to deal with weak domestic sales. Executives say they are looking at 75,000 annual vehicle sales by 2018 for all brands/models manufactured by Fiat Chrysler with the Maserati Levante as a frontrunner. Industry observers say a major challenge would be to drum up interest in the US and China where demand for high end automobiles has weakened in the past few years.

This early though, reception has been encouraging with some reviewers already christening the Levante as a “fast and sexy” SUV that could give the Porsche Cayenne a run for its money. Described as an evolved version of the Quattroporte and Ghibli, the ultra luxury, sleek SUV can accelerate from zero to 100-kph in six seconds with a top speed of 251-kph. It comes with a wide range of driver assistance systems that include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic brake system, a blind spot alert and a surround view camera, among many others. The Levante comes in two options – Sport and Luxury – for those who want their vehicle to come with a bit more style or prefer more technical features.

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Email: spybits08@gmail.com

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