The Tampakan Copper-Gold Project in the Philippines, owned by Glencore Xstrata, the Australian Indophil, and the local subsidiary Sagittarius Mines Inc (SMI), is one of the largest copper-gold mines in Southeast Asia. It covers a mine area of around 10,000 hectares in in the municipalities of Malungon (Sarangani), Columbio (Sultan Kudarat), Tampakan (South Cotabato) and Kiblawan (Davao del Sur), as well as four provinces in the Davao Region and the Regions XI and XII. The project directly impacts watersheds, around 3,000 hectares of forest, and ancestral domains that are sacred for local populations. An estimate of 5,000 people, mostly indigenous peoples, will have to be re-settled as a consequence of the mining, and many more are likely to be affected. The operations will also endanger food and water sources, impacting living conditions and possibly leading to social unrest. The risks of pollution, erosion, siltation, flash floods, landslides, and other seismic geo-hazards are also very high. For these reasons the Bla’an people and other indigenous tribes have been protesting against the mining project. In response to the strong opposition of local populations, however, military forces and paramilitary groups have been deployed in the area and are acting in defence of the investment. This militarization resulted in the killing of anti-mining and indigenous peoples leaders, and other countless violations of human rights. Juvy Capion and her sons Jordan, 13, and John Mark, 6, were killed in 2012 in an operation mounted by the military in Sitio Alyong, Barangay Kimlawis in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur against her husband, Daguel Capion. History of the conflict During the mandate of the President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a governmental order was issued, which allowed police, military and paramilitary forces to be employed to defend investments projects that could be threatened by insurgents. This order was the basis for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between SMI and the local governments that created the Special Forces KITACO, in 2008. This MoU legalized the entry of military and paramilitary forces into ancestral Bla’an territory. The repeated entrances of security forces were accompanied by several violations of human rights and the murder of tribal leaders that opposed the investment project. The KITACO forces are composed by private intelligence groups, as well as by personnel of the police and army of the Government of the Philippines. Several local executives and other members of the National Police of the Philippines confirmed that SMI financed their operations in the area affected by the project, unsurprisingly rebranded as KITACO growth Area. The salaries of the private intelligence forces, as well as many of the police forces composing the KITACO Special Forces, for instance, come from the vaults of SMI/Glencore-Xstrata. This militarization of the area not only obstructed the legitimate contestation to the project, but also hampered any possibility of implementing pertinent local regulation prohibiting open-air mining. In 2012 the Department for Internal Affairs and the Justice Department issued an order to the local government of the affected area to revoke this same legislation. This is arguably a violation of the Constitution and the Local Government Code, which since 1991 have delegated power of self-government to the local authorities. This also adds to the incapacity of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples to defend the rights of the Bla’an people, who declared its strong resistance to the Tampakan project. The Commission indeed failed to voice this opposition, and to take any action even after the murders and violence that the Bla’an people suffered.