Michael Ray Aquino
Michael Ray Aquino is a former intelligence officer in the police force of the Philippines who became known for his alleged involvement in political murder. Recently, he has pleaded been guilty to espionage case in the United States.
Aquino's career in the Philippine police included serving as Deputy Directory of the Intelligence Group and as senior superintendent of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (now defunct). He served under President Joseph Estrada, and remained politically loyal to Estrada after Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo rose to power.
Involvement in a Murder
In 2001, he and Cesar Mancao were charged in relation to a highly publicized criminal case in the Philippines concerning the unsolved death of publicist Bubby Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito, in Indang, Cavite in 2000. Glenn Dumlao, a former PAOCTF officer, submmited an affidavit in June 2001, narrating how he was given an order by then chief of Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) Panfilo Lacson through his officers, Michael Ray Aquino and Cesar Mancao, to place Dacer under surveillance in January 1999. The affidavit stated that Dumlao was ordered to rent a room at the Manila Hotel so he could break in Dacer’s office in the building and steal or destroy whatever documents he could find in the office. Dumlao's superiors, according to the statements, were after documents pertaining to BW Resources which was under investigation for insider trading and stock manipulation at the PSE. Dacer reportedly got hold of the documents when Tan engaged in his services at the height of the probe being conducted by PSE and SEC.
In March 2005, Aquino was arrested for overstaying his visa. He contacted his friend Leandro Aragoncillo, a Philippine-born security specialist at the White House, to seek assistance. Aragoncillo's efforts eventually led to him being investigated, and in the course of that investigation, evidence of espionage was uncovered. Aquino was accused of helping Aragoncillo transmit classified United States documents regarding President Macapagal-Arroyo to her opponents in the Philippines, including both Estrada and current opposition leader Panfilo Lacson, who had been Aquino's superior in the police force. Under a plea bargain agreement, Aquino entered a guilty plea to illegal possession of classified documents, but avoided the more serious charge of espionage which Aragoncillo received.
- Manila Times article
- MSNBC article
- ABC-CBN article
- Newsday article
- CI Center page on Aragoncillo/Aquino case