At about 5:30 A.M. of September 15, 2019 Police Senior Inspector Officer A of the Manila Police District Station received a text message from an unidentified civilian informer that one Mr. Z would be meeting up later that morning with two (2) potential sellers of drugs at a nearby restaurant. As such, Officer A decided to hang around the said place immediately.
At about 9:15 A.M., two (2) male passengers. Named A and Y, who were each carrying a traveling bag, alighted from a bus in front of the restaurant. A transport barker, serving as a lookout for Officer A, signaled to the latter that X and Y were “suspicious-looking.”
As the two were about to enter the restaurant, Officer A stopped them and asked about the contents of their bags. Dissatisfied with their response that the bags contained only clothes, Officer A proceeded to search the bags and found packs of shabu therein. Thus, X and Y were arrested, and the drugs were seized from them. According to Officer A, a warrantless search was validly made pursuant to the stop and frisk rule; hence, the consequent seizure of the drugs was likewise valid.
(a) What is the stop and frisk rule? (2.5%)
(b) Was the stop and frisk rule validly invoked by Officer A? If not, what is the effect on the drugs seized as evidence? Explain. (2.5%)
(a) Stop and frisk rule – refers to a valid warrantless search made by a law enforcer who has personal knowledge of facts, which would engender a reasonable degree of suspicion of an illicit act. Law enforcers are given the legal arsenal to prevent the commission of offenses based on a genuine reason, as determined by the police officer, to warrant a belief that the person searched was carrying a weapon.
(b) No. Answer
Under the jurisprudence, for a valid stop and frisk search, the arresting officer must have had personal knowledge of facts, which would engender a reasonable degree of suspicion of an illicit act. Rule
In the case at bar, Officer A had no personal knowledge of a possible illicit act that was being committed by X and Y. Instead, his knowledge is based on hearsay from an anonymous text and a signal from a transport barker identifying X and Y as “suspicious-looking”. Apply
Thus, Officer A did not validly invoke the stop and frisk rule resulting in the inadmissibility as evidence of the seized drugs. Conclusion