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EN BANC preliminary injunction against the appellees owners of the structures on the plaza failed merely tolerated by the

ctures on the plaza failed merely tolerated by the municipality,

[G.R. No. L-11014. January 21, 1958.] and ordering the removal of appellants' stalls and refused to transfer to said market place. because of the destruction of the public
VICTORIANA ESPIRITU, from the public plaza of appellee The Municipal Council of Pozorrubio market during the war, but the trouble is that
JORGE ROBLES, JOSEFINA municipality, within ten days from notice. received petitions from civic organizations appellants, even after the rehabilitation of
DE VERA, FAUSTINO Pending appeal, counsel for the appellees like the Woman's Club and the Puericulture the old market, refused to transfer to said
QINTIVES, LEONOR filed a Manifestation on September 16, 1957, Center, for the removal of the market stalls market place, perhaps to save the trouble
BRIONES, EVANGELINA copy of which was duly served on appellants, on the plaza, which were being used not only and expense of transferring their buildings,
PATACSIL, TEOFILO that several months after the oral argument as stalls, but also for residence purposes, or possibly to continue enjoying the benefits
ANCHETA and BRIGIDA held before this Tribunal on January 25, 1957, said organizations desiring to convert said from the strategic position of their stalls at
MANGONON, petitioners- appellants had voluntarily vacated the public portion of the plaza into a children's park. the plaza. There is absolutely no question
appellants, vs. THE plaza of Pozorrubio by transferring and The Provincial Board of Pangasinan had also that the town plaza cannot be used for the
MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, removing their buildings and merchandise presented to the Council the petition of construction of market stalls, specially of
MUNICIPAL MAYOR and therefrom to private lots fronting the plaza; another civic organization of Pozorrubio, residences, and that such structures
THE CHIEF OF POLICE OF and that the municipality had already begun asking for the removal of the stalls from the constitute a nuisance subject to abatement
POZORRUBIO, the construction of concrete fences in the plaza, and the attention of the Council was according to law. Town plazas are properties
PANGASINAN, respondents- premises, formerly occupied by appellants, also called to the letter-circular of the of public dominion, to be devoted to public
appellees. without any complaint whatsoever from them Secretary of the Interior about the existence use and to be made available to the public in
Teodulfo L. Reyes and Romulo M. or their counsel; and that consequently, the of these stalls on the public plaza, said to be general. They are outside the commerce of
Abarcar, for appellants. present case has become moot and illegal. man and cannot be disposed of or even
SYLLABUS academic, and asking that the present As a result, the Municipal Council of leased by the municipality to private parties.
PUBLIC PROPERTY; TOWN PLAZAS; appeal be dismissed. By resolution of this Pozorrubio passed Resolution No. 209, Series 1 While in case of war or during an
OUTSIDE THE COMMERCE OF MEN; USE AND Court of October 21, 1957, appellants were of 1951, stating that the public market had emergency, town plazas may be occupied
OCCUPATION OF, DURING EMERGENCY. required to comment on this Manifestation already been rehabilitated, and ordering the temporarily by private individuals, as was
Town plazas are properties of public and petition for dismissal, within ten days occupants and owners of the structures on done and as was tolerated by the
dominion, to be devoted to public use and to from notice. Despite notice of this resolution, the plaza to remove their buildings within Municipality of Pozorrubio, when the
be made available to the public in general. appellants failed to file the required sixty days from receipt of the resolution. In emergency has ceased, said temporary
They are outside the commerce of man and comment. For this reason, we could well answer to this resolution, eight of the market occupation or use must also cease, and the
cannot be disposed of or even leased by the summarily dismiss this appeal by resolution. stall building owners filed a petition for town officials should see to it that the town
municipality to private parties. They cannot However, for the satisfaction of the parties prohibition in the Court of First Instance of plazas should ever be kept open to the public
be used for the construction of market stalls, and for possible guidance of town officials Pangasinan against the Municipal Council, and free from encumbrances or illegal
specially of residences, and such structures and residents, we have deemed it convenient the Municipal Mayor, and the Chief of Police private constructions.
constitute a nuisance subject to abatement and necessary to decide the case by formal of Pozorrubio. Pending hearing, the trial court Appellants must have realized the
according to law. While in case of war or decision. issued a writ of preliminary injunction. absolute lack of merit in their stand and the
during an emegency, town plazas may be The facts are not disputed. In fact, The trial court found that the fee of futility of their appeal because they
occupied temporarily by private individuals, no evidence was submitted at the hearing P.25 per square meter collected by the voluntarily removed their buildings on the
when the emergency has ceased, said before the trial court, the parties having Municipal Treasurer, was not for the rent of plaza. As a matter of fact, after the filing of
temporary occupation or use must also petitioned that the case be decided on the the portion of the public plaza occupied by the prohibition with the trial court, two out of
cease, and the town officials should see to it pleadings. During the last world war, the the market stalls, as claimed by appellants, the eight petitioners informed the trial court
that the town plazas should ever be kept market building of the town of Pozorrubio but rather the market stall fees charges on that they were included as petitioners
open to the public and free from was destroyed, and after Liberation, the all market vendors in a public market; and without their consent, and so asked that they
encumbrances or illegal private market vendors began constructing that there was absolutely no contract or be excluded from the case.
constructions. temporary and make- shift stalls, even small agreement between the appellants on one In view of the foregoing, the
DECISION residences, on a portion of the town plaza. side and the municipality on the other, about decision appealed from is hereby affirmed.
MONTEMAYOR, J p: The Municipal Treasurer collected from these renting of the Plaza to the former. There is With costs against appellants.
This is an appeal from the decision stall owners fees at the rate of P.25 per reason to believe that the occupation of the ||| (Espiritu v. Municipal Council, G.R. No. L-
of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan of square meter a month. In time, the whole plaza and the construction of temporary 11014, [January 21, 1958], 102 PHIL 866-870)
April 28, 1956, dismissing the petition for municipal market was rehabilitated, but the buildings thereon by appellants mostly for
prohibition filed by appellants, lifting the market, even residence purposes, was