208 SCRA 404



An  ordinance  was  issued  designated  certain  city  and  municipal  streets, roads, and other public areas for sites of public markets.  Pursuant to this, licenses were issued to market stall owners to put up their stalls in certain streets.  Thereafter, the OIC mayor of Caloocan has caused the demolition of  the  stalls,  which  was  upheld  by  the  trial  court,  saying  that  the  public streets are part of the public dominion and is not open to the commerce of man.  Then there come about a change in administration of the city.  The
next  mayor  did  not  continue  the  demolition  of  the  stalls.    Using  the  trial court’s decision, here now comes petitioner asking for the demolition of the stalls.


There  is  no  doubt  that  the  disputed  areas  from  which  the  private respondent’s market stalls are sought to be evicted are public streets.  A public  street  is  property  for  public  use  hence  outside  the  commerce  of man.    Being  outside  the  commerce  of  man,  it  may  not  be  the  subject  of
lease or other contract. 

The right of the public to use the city streets may not be bargained away through contract.  The interests of the few should not prevail over the good of the greater number in the community.