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Michael Ray Aquino: Cop-turned-nurse is home


The controversial cop faces a murder case. But for a time, he thought he had gotten away with it.

MANILA, Philippines—It’s a little known fact that former Police Senior Supt. Michael Ray Aquino became a nurse in the US.

He had already passed a nursing board exam and was already living a new life with his family in New York when the police arrested and jailed him for espionage in October 2005.

The controversial cop arrived in Manila on Sunday, June 26, 2011—after 27 months of fighting off extradition—to face charges that he was involved in the 2000 Dacer-Corbito murders.

In their heyday at the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force, Aquino wielded power. Called “Ninoy,” the former aide of ex-PAOCTF head and now Sen. Panfilo Lacson called the shots in all the key anti-crime operations in Metro Manila.

At the height of their success, however, the task force was accused of killing innocent civilians. Its worst crisis was its alleged involvement in the summary killing of suspected bank robbers called the Kuratong Baleleng gang , a case that remains pending in the Supreme Court. (Read: Supreme Court has yet to act on Kuratong Baleleng case) Aquino fled the Philippines in June 2001, five months after the ouster of their patron, former President Joseph Estrada.

While in the US, he took on odd jobs and eventually decided to study nursing at the Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing in New York. He passed the board exam in 2004.

Brooke Shields and all

When Newsbreak learned about this in 2005, we asked him to write about his experience. He was reluctant at first to do it, but we pestered him no end.

Finally, on Aug. 29, 2005, he emailed us his piece. As an aside, he told us that his wife (they have a 15-year-old son) was also a caregiver in New York and at one time served as the yaya of the child of actress Brooke Shields, when the latter stayed in Manhattan for a few months in 2004.

Below is Aquino’s previous email to Newsbreak’s Glenda M. Gloria about his life as a nurse:

“I was initially embarrassed to tell people that I was into nursing. What was this former cop doing at a nursing school? Besides, I thought that nursing was a woman’s world. Well, I was wrong! There is now an association of male nurses, and male nurses are the most sought after by recruiters.

My classmates came from various walks of life—high school graduates, college graduates, Asians, Hispanics, and other nationalities, with ages ranging from 17 to 53. Some were in their second careers, some were single, some had families, but most were working students. Around 20 percent of the students were Filipinos. Soon I was elected vice president of the student government.

We had to adjust to a new life. My wife, son, and I had to move to different apartments to cope with the challenges and minimize expenses. She had to prepare my baon each school day and iron my uniform for my clinic days. We’re forever thankful to our friends and relatives who lent a hand in those trying times.
The career shift hasn’t been easy. I had to forget being a policeman.

Every week, we had clinical sessions in the hospital, to practice what we learned in school. The school credited the four subjects that I took at the Philippine Military Academy. I was miserable in subjects like Anatomy 1 and 2. But I excelled in the laboratory. I struggled with microbiology and pharmacology. There was so much stuff to memorize. In those two years, I basically had “no life.” It paid off, somehow. I was one of the few who were awarded a perfect attendance certificate by the dean (no late arrivals and no absences) in all

New was are skin thought directions dry:.

five semesters in school and clinical activities.

Anyway, in my first clinical experience, I had to make a complete bed bath and change of linens for a 93-year old man who had multiple health problems. I sweated profusely and it took me almost an hour to do job.

One of the most challenging assignments for male student nurses like me was in the maternity/delivery room wards. In one of my rotations, I assisted in the normal delivery of a baby. The baby turned out to be a

“blue baby.” It was a very emotional scene.

We were taught to talk to patients, their families, and maintain good relations with them and with other health care professionals. We were told to have good observation and description skills, critical thinking, and an analytical mind.

In this sense, the job is no different from that of a police officer. As police officers, we deal with people and help them, save lives, have compassion and care. I do the same as a nurse.

In June 2004, I finally graduated. On July 15 of the same year, I passed the nursing board exam for New York State. Two months before I graduated, my application for a student visa was denied because my passport had been allegedly cancelled by Department of Foreign Affairs on Aug. 7, 2001. It was cancelled without valid legal basis, without my knowledge and without due course, and in gross violation of the Philippine Passport Act of 1996. But that’s another story.

I am proud to be a nurse—one who has survived not only the rigors of schooling but also the extreme weather of New York. I thank my wife and son who supported me all the way. Now I can call myself a member of the Philippine National Police, a PMA graduate, and a nurse.” –Newsbreak


CATEGORY: Justice & Human Rights, People, Profiles
  1. “Now I can call myself a member of the Philippine National Police, a PMA graduate, and a nurse.”

    and a “murderer” – his most important description.

  2. let me correct myself: “and a suspected murderer”. i hope he really believes in the due process of law, after all, like his former boss, Ping Lacson, he does not believe in it that is why he took flight just like his former boss, only to be involuntarily extradited.

    like his bosss, due process means that they be cleared of their “involvement”.

  3. Rvl Gimenez says:

    None of the suspects are guilty because:

    1. Dacer and Corbito killed each other. How they went about doing that is still under investigation and the results of the probe are soon forthcoming.

    2. Or, no one killed Dacer and Corbito. They are alive! They are in the US with new identities. The whole thing was a malicious scheme hatched to embarrass Erap, Lacson and the rest.

    Take your pick of the above. Each is as true as the other so don’t worry about getting it wrong.

    Other relevant facts:

    1. Aquino did not flee to the US; “flee” is the wrong word. He went there to see Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, up close and personal. His wife, eventually, got employed by Ms. Hilton and that was the highlight of their vacation.

    2. Sen. Lacson did not flee, either. He just demonstrated that Greg Honasan is not the only member of PMA class of ’71 who’s pretty good in avoiding capture. Also, did you notice how the senator has not suffered any consequence for the flight? It was all a demonstration.

    3. Aquino was not jailed in the US. After funds got low, he needed a roof over his head and some freebies for his tummy. So, he wrangled an invitation to spend some time in a federal facility through the convenience of sending easily traceable emails pilfered by a friend from White House files. Smart.

    4. Those Kuratong Baleleng fellas? They’re healthy! Notice how kidnappings and carnappings are still rampant?

    5. If you think the Kuratong Baleleng case is in deep slumber, you may be right. It is probably sleeping the “sleep of the just”; justices, you see, are the ones now looking at it.

    Now, with these facts having been firmly established, let’s move on with our lives.

    (Notice my tongue stuck firmly in my cheek?) ;-)

  4. rvl, ;) i think his wife was employed by brooke shield first -

  5. speaking of Honasan and Kapunan, they were not also guilty of the murder of Rolando Olalia because they make a covenant with Ramos that whatever political killings done done during Marcos and Cory era, were simply mental aberration of the most malicious detractors.

    in other countries, criminals actually go to jail.. in our country, we elected them to high offices. ;)

    rvl, do you know that J. Nalundasan did not die by bullet wounds? he died choking from his tootbrush. ;) .

  6. Rvl Gimenez says:

    Hello there, jcc! Oh, Brooke Shields! My bad! I’ve got my stars crossed; God forbid that anyone be star-crossed, however. ;-)

  7. Rvl Gimenez says:

    HA HA HA HA HA! You got me rolling on the floor, jcc! HA HA HA HA HA!

  8. rvl, i would say that your subliminal desire for Paris Hilton is innocently coded in your comment. By the way, where is our psycho-analyst friend, Johnny? :)

  9. Rvl Gimenez says:

    Hello, again, jcc! I love Paris, the city. Haven’t ever developed a taste for any of the Hiltons (by equal measure, the hotel chain and the members of the family, living and dead). I like it the way it is and with a little luck and a degree of conscious effort, it will stay that way, buddy! ;-) As for Johnny, I really have no idea.:-)

  10. Rvl Gimenez says:

    A statement made this morning by Atty. Topacio, Mancao’s counsel, in the course of a TV interview: “If Michael Ray Aquino does not know anything, as he claims, how can he know that former President Estrada and Senator Lacson have nothing to do with the murders?” Or, words to that effect.

  11. this is very unique in our political system. we try to litigate our case in the media. aquino says erap and lacson were not involved in the murders. mancao said they were involved. aquino was after lacson and erap’s blessing – who can still manuever in the corridors of power – mancao, understandably had fallen out from their favors…

    but aquino and mancao have no personal beef against dacer- they are from my perspective, “foot soldiers”. an order to kill dacer and his driver must come from someone in the higher level.

    just like in ninoy’s case, it was unlikely that only those sergeant escorts were responsible for his death.

  12. Rvl Gimenez says:

    Yeah, bud. The questions are: Who benefits? Who has the motive? Those stocks of a gambling corporation and how they were manipulated look rather compeling as factors to the equation.Lots of money involved there.

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