RP security chief Tamayo sounds of Rio Olympics security concerns
by rick olivares
Former Philippine Air Force Colonel Jeff Tamayo, head for security for the Philippine mission to the Olympic Games Rio De Janeiro has asked that all members be mindful of their place in the Olympics.
The RP delegation - 12 athletes, 10 coaches, 6 officials, and 1 caddy - will be housed in different areas of the Olympic Village in Barra da Tijuca where security is tight.
“I think that everyone should have an appreciation of what these games are,” intoned Col. Tamayo. “The Olympics is the only activity in the world that gets everyone together and it is a symbol of peace. Hence, it makes for a target for bad elements. Given terrorism in the world today and in recent events, it isn’t enough that there are security forces on hand.”
In the early hours of Friday, July 22 in Brazil, security forces arrested 10 people with Islamic State ties who were planning on carrying out terror attacks during the Olympic Games.
Last June 6, three members of the Spanish sailing team were robbed at gunpoint in the Santa Teresa neighbourhood that is supposedly one of the safer areas of Rio.
A portion of the Olympic Village that will house members of the media, was built on an ancient burial site for slaves. Descendants of those slaves, called “quilombo” have vociferously made known their unhappiness of the desecration of what s considered a cultural site. The Olympic Village’s construction has likewise eaten up portions allotted to the local community and has diverted resources from residents to those who will be staying in the Olympic Village.
“Brazil has allotted some 5,000 security personnel from the police and the military to be on hand for the games. But we should understand what are the limitations of security.”
The Olympic Village and venues have three rings or levels of security. From within, security is very tight and strict. However, as one moves to the outer rim, security is less.
While there are buses to ferry athletes, coaches, and officials to and from the competition venues, some might be tempted to go out of the Olympic Village to see the sights. “If you ride a taxi, find out what kind of taxi it is,” cautioned Tamayo. “You must inform us at all times where you are so we can monitor everyone’s whereabouts.”
“Like anywhere else in the world, you avoid the seedy areas. Like Manila, criminal elements make use of children as well as snatchers on motorcycles. There are a lot of helpful people all around but you have to conduct yourself in an unobtrusive manner where you do not call attention to yourself."