Who was Levy Laus, the Businessman Killed in a Chopper Crash?
Pampanga-based businessman Liberato “Levy” Laus was one of three men killed when the helicopter they were riding crashed in Malolos, Bulacan at past noon on Thursday, April 25. The other two were the pilot, identified as Capt. Ever Coronel, and Laus' driver and bodyguard, Wilfran Esteban.
In a Philippine Daily Inquirer report, Bulacan governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and local police confirmed the casualties.
Laus was the chairman emeritus of the Laus Group of Companies, a diversified conglomerate whose main business is a network of automobile dealerships, supposedly the largest multibrand dealership network not just in Central Luzon but in the entire country.
According to its website, the company currently has 55 dealerships and has over 2,100 employees and 98 business units. It is the dealer of major automobile brands in the region, including Mitsubishi, Ford, Hyundai, Chevrolet, BMW, Volkswagen, Jeep, Peugeot, Kia, Mazda, Nissan, Suzuki and Haima.
The Laus Group also owns Carmix, a retailer of secondhand cars, as well as other automotive-related companies.
In addition to its auto dealerships, the Laus Group has interests in non-life insurance, media (it owns a radio station, newspaper and regional TV station), restaurants (franchises of Max’s, Pancake House, Dencio’s, Yellow Cab and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf), hospitality (Microtel by Wyndham Pampanga), and property and real estate (Familyville residential subdivision, Laus Group Event Center).
Laus was also credited for spearheading the Save San Fernando Movement, a multi-sectoral group composed of government leaders, businessmen and civil society groups to press for the construction of the FVR megadike that would save the town from lahar flow following the explosion of Mount Pinatubo in 1991.
He received many awards during his lifetime, including the Presidential Medal of Merit from former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and distinguished alumnus citations from his alma maters San Beda College and Don Bosco Academy.
According to the Inquirer, Laus is survived by his wife Theresa, and children Lisset, Paul, Carissa, Adrian Levy and Diorella.