TWO persons, including billionaire Pampanga business mogul Liberato “Levy” Laus, were killed as another was seriously injured when their chopper crashed in Bulacan past noontime on Thursday.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) confirmed that helicopter RPC8098 plunged into a fishpond in Barangay Anilao, Malolos, Bulacan.
The helicopter, owned and operated by LGC Air Transport, left the Ninoy Aquino International Airport General Aviation hangar bound for San Fernando, Pampanga at 12:28 p.m. The aircraft went down just a few minutes later at 12:47 p.m.
CAAP Director General Capt. Jim Sydiongco immediately dispatched Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board investigators headed by chief investigator Rainier Baculinao to the crash site.
Initial reports said the three passengers were evacuated from the crash site to a nearby hospital as two of them, including Laus, died on the spot.
The other passenger was rushed to the Bulacan Medical Center in Malolos.
Laus, 68, was a high-profile car dealer and owned the rights to sell several luxury car brands. He also has properties in Luzon, including a string of restaurants and fast food chains, as well as several subdivisions and memorial parks.
THE Clark Development Corp. (CDC) immediately released a message on the untimely demise of Laus. It read:
“The officers and employees of [CDC] mourn the death of Mr. Liberato ‘Levy’ P. Laus, its former president and CEO from October 1, 2006 to July 31, 2008. We express our sincerest condolences to his family.
Mr. Laus will always be remembered as the man who led efforts to save thousands of jobs in Clark as he headed the lobby and passage of the Freeport Law or R.A. 9400, which effectively institutionalized incentives that made investors and locators to stay in Clark.
The efforts of Mr. Laus, thus, have impacted not just Clark workers but the whole country as well, with the freeport’s undisrupted contribution to the nation’s economy.
From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to express our gratitude as we bid you farewell.
Sir Levy, your legacy lives on in Clark.