Principal By Indispensable Cooperation

Principal By Indispensable Cooperation

Art.17 Par. 3 – Principal by indispensable cooperation

Requisites:
1. Participation in the criminal resolution, that is, there is either anterior conspiracy or unity of criminal purpose and intention immediately before the commission of the crime charged; and
 2. Cooperation in the commission of the offense by performing another act, without which it would not have been accomplished.

MEANING OF “cooperation in the commission of the offense”
- To desire or wish in common a thing. But that common will or purpose does not necessarily mean previous understanding, for it can be explained or inferred from the circumstances of each case.

NOTE: If the cooperation is not indispensable, the offender is only an accomplice.

Collective Criminal Responsibility:
- This is present when the offenders are criminally liable in the same manner and to the same extent. The penalty to be imposed must be the same for all.

Principals by direct participation have collective criminal responsibility. Principals by induction, (except those who directly forced another to commit a crime) and principals by direct participation have collective criminal responsibility. Principals by indispensable cooperation have collective criminal responsibilities with the principals by direct participation.

Individual Criminal Responsibility:
- In the absence of any previous conspiracy, unity of criminal purpose and intention immediately before the commission of the crime, or community of criminal design, the criminal responsibility arising from different acts directed against one and the same person is considered as individual and not collective, and each of the participants is liable only for the act committed by him.

QUASI-COLLECTIVE criminal responsibility: Some of the offenders in the crime are principals and the others are accomplices.

What is the essence of being a principal by indispensable cooperation:
- The focus is not just on participation but on the importance of participation in committing the crime.
- The basis is the importance of the cooperation to the consummation of the crime.
- If the crime could hardly be committed without such cooperation, then such cooperation would bring about a principal.
- If the cooperation merely facilitated or hastened the consummation of the crime, this would make the cooperator merely an accomplice.

In case of doubt, favor the lesser penalty or liability. Apply the doctrine of pro reo.

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