Marawi soldier killed by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Pagadian

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  • Corporal Rhofel Alvarez Lihay-lihay, a member of the Philippine Army's 1st Infantry Tabak Division in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur, was shot while playing billiards in Pagadian City.

Pagadian City (CNN Philippines, October 24) — A soldier who served in Marawi City met his death Tuesday not in the battle zone, but in a home.

Corporal Rhofel Alvarez Lihay-lihay, a member of the Philippine Army's 1st Infantry Tabak Division in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur, was shot in the head by two unidentified male suspects, police said.

Lihay-lihay, 39, was playing billiards at a neighbor's house in Barangay Sta. Maria here, when the suspects appeared at 12:15 a.m. and shot him in the head and other parts of his body, they added.

The suspects fled on a motorcycle.

Police authorities said they recovered from the scene of the crime 11 pieces of cartridges from a .45-caliber pistol and 13 pieces of cartridges believed to be from a 9mm handgun.

They are still investigating a motive for his killing.

Lihay-lihay's father, Rogelio, appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte for justice.

"Nananawagan ako sa ating pangulo, sana bigyan ng hustisya 'yung pagkamatay ng anak ko. Galing pa siya sa Marawi," said the father, who is retired from the military.

[Translation: I call on our President to serve justice on my son's death. He just came from Marawi.]

Lihay-lihay is survived by his partner Joanne Perez with whom he has two children.

Combat operations in Marawi City ended Monday after a five-month-long battle with ISIS-inspired Maute group. The war left 165 government troopers dead. Pagadian is 160 kilometers west of Marawi City.