MANILA -- The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday condemned the ambush of students from Kimlawis National High School in Davao Del Sur, which resulted to two deaths and injury of about seven others.

On the evening of October 29, a truck carrying 40 students was fired upon by unidentified armed men. The students were reportedly on their way back home after performing for a local festival at the Kiblawan municipal gymnasium.

Jimboy Lakanay, 16, died on the spot, while another student, Neilbert Malason, died at the hospital due to gunshots.

"The Department remains firm in denouncing all forms of violence, threats, and attacks against its students, teachers, officials, and personnel. It further reiterates its call for constant vigilance and the protection of their safety and well-being inside and outside of school," DepEd said in a statement.

The agency asks everyone to pray for the speedy recovery of the injured students.

As it promotes the preservation of peace and order in schools and communities, DepEd said it supports the ongoing investigations to identify the perpetrators, as well as to determine their motive.

According to a Davao Today report dated November 1, Kiblawan Municipal Police Station Acting Commander Erich Von Requilman said the perpetrators "positioned themselves in the left side of the road going to Kimlawis proper."

The report added that authorities had recovered several empty shells from caliber .30 Garand rifle and from .30 Carbine rifle.

Investigation is still ongoing, and Kiblawan Mayor Carl Jason Rama said the government would fully cooperate with the police and shoulder the expenses of the victims. (PNA)