Google map of Pikit municipality, North Cotabato.

PIKIT, North Cotabato – A police manhunt is underway for gunmen who shot three school children in a remote village here, killing one and wounding two others on Tuesday afternoon.

“We strongly condemn the shooting at Barangay Gli-gli of minor students who are residents of Barangay Macabual,” said Lt. Col. John Miridel Calinga, the municipal police chief, here Wednesday.

Calinga said the fatality was a 13-year-old resident of Barangay Macabual and a student of the Pikit National High School.

Two of his companions, both 12-year-old boys, were wounded in the attack and are currently undergoing treatment at a hospital.

Initial investigation revealed that the three students were walking home at past noontime when the gunmen tailed them and shot them from behind.

The parents of the fatality quickly took his remains on the same day and buried him according to Islamic rites.

Following the shooting of the schoolchildren, Mayor Sumulong Sultan issued an order suspending classes in public and private schools at all levels here from Feb. 15 to 17.

“This is due to the series of killings and shooting incidents that had been happening in Pikit,” the mayor said.

Sultan said he is convening the municipal peace and order council Wednesday to find solutions to the series of shooting incidents.

On Monday, a tricycle driver here identified as Dodong Gonzales was also shot dead by gunmen near the town proper.  

Four days earlier, local bakery owner Ansarie Luntayan was killed by still unidentified attackers for still unknown reason in Barangay Takepan here.

Local media reports said more than 30 persons have been killed in the series of gun attacks in this town since September last year. (PNA)