ACCOMPLICES - Persons who do not act as principals but cooperate
in the execution of the offense by previous and simultaneous acts,
which are not indispensable to the commission of the crime. They
act as mere instruments that perform acts not essential to the
perpetration of the offense.
Requisites: (the following must concur)
1. That there be community of design; that is, knowing the criminal
design of the principal by direct participation, he concurs with
the latter his purpose;
2. That he cooperates in the execution of the offense by previous
or simultaneous acts, with the intention of supplying material
or moral aid in the execution of the crime in an efficacious
3. That there be a relation between the acts done by the principal
and those attributed to the person charged as an accomplice.
Before there could be an accomplice, there must be a principal by
The person charged as an accomplice should not have inflicted a
mortal wound. If he inflicted a mortal wound, he becomes a
principal by direct participation.
In case of doubt, the participation of the offender will be
considered that of an accomplice rather than that of a principal.
When is one regarded as an accomplice:
Determine if there is a conspiracy.
- If there is, as a general rule, the criminal liability of all
will be the same, because the act of one is the act of all.
- If the participation of one is so insignificant
- such that even without his cooperation,
- the crime would be committed just as well,
- then notwithstanding the existence of a conspiracy,
such offender will be regarded only as an accomplice.
What are the other traits of an accomplice
- does not have a previous agreement or understanding; or
- is not in conspiracy with the principal by direct participation
In Principal by Cooperation - Cooperation is indispensable in the
commission of the act.
Accomplice - Cooperation is not indispensable in the commission
of the act.