LOOK: 'Binay' sign ala Hollywood rises on Banaue Rice Terraces


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VP camp denies hand in Binay sign, decries black propaganda

BANAUE - A Binay sign put up on the world-famous Banaue Rice Terraces somewhat similar to the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California has caught the attention of residents and tourists in Ifugao.

The sign, made out of stitched-up sacks, was put up in the mountains of Barangay Bocos by 66-year-old Henry Lumabong, who claims to be a supporter of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

According to Lumabong, he does not personally know the opposition presidential candidate nor was he told by anyone to construct the sign.

Lumabong said he did it merely to show his support for Binay in the upcoming May elections, adding that he is hoping the former mayor will be able to improve Ifugao, just like what he did for Makati City.

"Nilagay ko yan para ipakitang isa 'kong tagasuporta ni Binay. Lupa ko naman ito eh. Private property," he said.

Some residents and tourists, however, expressed disappointment over seeing the Binay sign in the famous mountain rice terraces.

"Nagpunta kami dito para magpunta sa Banaue Rice Terraces, pero nung makita ko ito, parang nakaka-disappoint. Ang pinunta namin dito is yung Banaue. Para sa akin, dapat hindi nilalagay yung Binay na yan sa Banaue Rice Terraces," said tourist John Lloyd Antonio.

"Sana nga ma-preserve yang ganda ng terraces eh. Pwede naman sa ibang lugar ilagay," added Nick Eliscupides. "Pero siguro, dahil maraming turista kaya inilagay yan diyan."

Resident Junior Tanggana, meanwhile, said the sign destroys the view of the rice terraces.

"Kitang-kita na imbes na rice terraces eh yung Binay ang nakikita. Hindi naman lahat maka-Binay."

The local government of Banaue, however, said it sees nothing wrong with Lumabong's construction of the sign on his own land.

"Walang violation kasi Binay lang naman ang nakalagay, walang nakalagay na vote for Binay," Banaue Mayor Jerry Dalipog said.

But Ifugao Governor Denis Habawel said they will ask Lumabong to take down the sign.


The camp of Binay has denied any involvement in the construction of the sign.

United National Alliance (UNA) secretary general Atty. JV Bautista insinuated that this could be the work of Binay's political rivals in an attempt to make the Vice President look like an "epal."

"I have not seen yung sinasabi mo na nakalagay. Pero what logic would Binay or any of his supporters have to put something like that as prominent?" said Bautista.

"Kaya to us, it's just simply illogical that that will come from us. Why? Why should we do that? There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to do it. Unless there is somebody out there who wants to create 'ah epal.' Di ba?" he added.

He noted that a poster saying that Cebu is a "Binay country" was similarly put up in the venue of the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) ahead of the Vice President's visit supposedly to make it look that Binay is sending a political message in a religious event.

"We have nothing to with that... Somebody else is doing it," Bautista said. -- Report from Angelyn Valencia, ABS-CBN News North Luzon