Another gun attack kills Cotabato student
PIKIT, Cotabato, Philippines —The municipal government here on Wednesday ordered a three-day suspension of classes at all levels here following the shooting of three high school students on their way home on Monday, the latest in a spate of killings that rocked this Cotabato town since last year.
Mayor Sumulong Sultan signed Executive Order No. 3 on Tuesday, suspending classes in private and public schools at all levels across Pikit from Wednesday to Friday as the local government tries to find solutions to peace and order concerns in the town.
On Monday noon, Fahad Dilabuan Guiamalon, 13, and his two schoolmates at Pikit National High School, were walking home to Barangay Macabual for lunch when an unidentified man started stalking them and later shot them from behind, said Police Lt. Col. John Miridel Calinga, Pikit police chief.
The attack happened in Barangay Gli-Gli, about 10 kilometers from the town center.
Guiamalon died while being taken to a local hospital while his companions, both 12-year-old students, were wounded and taken to Cruzado Medical Hospital here for treatment.
Guiamalon’s parents immediately claimed his remains from the hospital and buried him according to Islamic rites.
Sultan said the suspension order covered schools in villages that already joined the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), noting that he had coordinated with BARMM officials on its implementation.
“(The suspension of classes) is due to the series of killings and shooting incidents that has been happening in Pikit,” said Sultan. He was scheduled to convene the municipal peace and order council on Wednesday to address the problem.
By the local media’s count alone, Guiamalon’s death has brought to 30 the number of people killed in a series of gun attacks in Pikit since September 2022, considered the height of the killings which started as early as January last year.
Pikit has been rocked by a series of shootings that killed ordinary residents, among them tricycle drivers, storekeepers and street vendors, since last year. The unsolved killings continued to puzzle the local police and town officials.
On Monday, tricycle driver Dodong Gonzales was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen in a village near the town center for unknown reason. Four days earlier, bakery owner Ansarie Luntayan was murdered in nearby Barangay Takepan.
Pikit residents have turned to social media to air their concern over the killings as they called on authorities to solve these.
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