MANILA, December 4, 2003 (STAR) NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL By Margaret Jao-Grey - There’s talk the National Bureau of Investigation has already gone to the office of Asian Capital Equities, Inc. to look, for, uh, physical evidence of fraud. President Frank Borromeo was not around to show the agents around.

Fact is, nobody seems to know where Mr. Borromeo is – not his wife, who has not been reporting for work in either one of the two dermatology clinics that she operates; not the Makati Medical Center, where he had been confined for a couple of days, not his sister living in San Lorenzo Village; and, certainly, not his employees.

This is not the first time that Asian Capital has been issued a cease and desist order by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Nor is this the first time the stockbrokerage firm is being investigated by the Philippine Stock Exchange for possible violations of the Securities Regulation Code.

Before, there was talk the firm has sold the same financial instrument to two or three people (multiplied thousands of times), similar to what Bank Capital Corp. did with Treasury bills a couple of years ago.

This time around, the firm’s officers allegedly sold shares of stocks without the approval of its clients and then failed to remit the money to its clients.

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Overheard politics 1: Up to the last minute, Jesusa Sonora-Poe, better known by her screen name Susan Roces, had tried to dissuade husband, Ronald Allan Poe, aka Fernando Poe Jr. from declaring his willingness to run in next year’s presidential elections.

You see, Ms. Poe wanted their private life to stay private. Her real tears on national TV when Mr. Poe made his announcement were due to dismay rather than to happiness.

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Overheard politics 2: The four-hour cinematic biography of former Ilocos Sur governor Luis Chavit would have stretched to 10 hours if it had included his love life.

As it is, the movie’s running time has been reduced to three hours by focusing on the five shoot-and-counter shoot assassination attempts on Chavit Singson’s life, exclusive of the one that triggered the impeachment of former President Estrada.

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Overheard politics 3: Senators Noli de Castro and Franklin Drilon have recently been spending so much time together after work that people are beginning to get ideas.

The talk got even louder when Mr. De Castro met last Tuesday with newspaper owner Dante Ang, the marketing man who re-imaged Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the masses and straight to Malacañang.

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Former Press Secretary and current The Core Group president Annabelle Abaya has been spending a lot of time training people in the science of mediation.

As a profession, mediators are not just limited to the courts (where the going rate is 20 percent of the filing fee) but also to couples who want to amicably split up and don’t want to deal with lawyers (the fixed rate, regardless of hours, is P10,000).

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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