Swiss dies in second Philippines incident

A 22-year-old man from Geneva has been killed in the Philippines, just days after two other Swiss men were shot dead in the country.

Swiss dies in second Philippines incident
Near Surigao City. Photo: Nicolas S Tello/Wikimedia Commons

Police found the Geneva man on Tuesday in Surigao City on the island of Mindanao, reported Swiss daily 20 Minuten on Friday.

According to a report in Filipino website GMA News, the victim’s body had stab wounds, head injuries and signs of strangulation.

Police in the Philippines are seeking a man who checked into his hotel under the name ‘John Lennon’ and was seen with the victim the evening prior to his death, reports 20 Minuten.

Speaking with friends of the victim on the internet after his death, ‘John Lennon’ said that the previous evening the pair had been threatened with a gun by two individuals who demanded money.

“In the discussion he claimed he started to run in one direction while the victim chose another,” police chief Ruben Delos Santos told 20 Minuten.

The man claims not to have seen the victim again.

Police are questioning his version of events, however.

“[The victim] has stab wounds not gunshot wounds,” said Delos Santos, “And neither his wallet not his jewellery had been stolen.”

According to the police chief ‘John Lennon’ entered a McDonald’s restaurant not long after the pair were allegedly threatened.

“Just 200 metres from there is a police station, but the young man never went there,” he said.

Police are now seeking the man, who was in contact with his girlfriend after the event and left the island by boat.

Despite not knowing his real name or nationality, police have “good photos and video footage of him” said the chief.

“We suspect him of having something to do with the death of [the victim].”

The killing comes just a few days after two other Swiss men, 67-year-old Robert Erich Loever and 78-year-old Baltazar Johann Erni, were shot dead at a southern Philippine beach resort last Sunday.

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Why are Geneva and Zurich high among world’s ‘most liveable’ cities?

Zurich and Geneva have been ranked once again in the top 10 best cities to live in but not everything is so rosy about life in Switzerland's two big cities.

Why are Geneva and Zurich high among world’s ‘most liveable’ cities?

Switzerland is the only country in Europe to have two entries in the top 10 in the new Global Liveability Index: Zurich is in the third place and Geneva in the sixth.

The study, carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit rates living conditions in 172 cities based on more than 30 factors. These are grouped into five categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. 

Both cities score high across all categories, with highest marks given for heath care (100), followed by infrastructure (96.4), and stability (95).

The difference, though minimal, between the two cities, lies in the culture and environment category, were Zurich scored 96.3 and Geneva 94.9.

The lowest score both got, 91.7, is for education, which is surprising, as Zurich’s Federal Polytechnic Institute (ETH) has been named the best university in continental Europe for several years running, including in 2022.

READ MORE: Swiss universities still highly ranked but slip in ratings

The overall result, however, is not exactly a surprise, because the two cities (and sometimes also Basel, Bern, and Lausanne) frequently rank in the Top 10 places to live in the world.

Paradoxically, Switzerland’s two largest cities also routinely take top spots as the most expensive places to live in. For instance, both were ranked among the costliest for international residents in a survey published on June 14th.

So the obvious question is, how can two most expensive cities also be among most ‘liveable’?

At least part of the answer may lie in different criteria used to measure the quality of life versus costs.

The concept of quality of life defined by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which was also adapted in Switzerland, includes categories such as  health, education, environmental quality, personal security, civic engagement, and work-life balance.

Swiss cities (and Switzerland in general) scores high in all these categories, which explains the overall top rankings.

The cost of living, on the other hand, is determined by calculating prices of goods and services that are essential parts of individual or household spending.

These prices are totalled and averaged, and indexes are created to help compare costs of living in different locations.

As prices for basic necessities such as housing, health insurance, food, and public transportation, are much higher in Switzerland than in most of Europe, the country always ranks among the most expensive in the world.

However, as The Local explained in a recent article, in order to get a more accurate assessment of the cost of living, prices should be looked at in the context of purchasing power parity (PPP) — that is, the financial ability of a person or a household to buy products and services with their wages.

An in depth analysis by a digital employment platform Glassdoor concluded that in Switzerland (along with Denmark, and Germany) the average city-based worker can afford to buy 60 percent or more goods and services with his or her salary than residents of New York.

READ MORE : EXPLAINED: Why Switzerland’s cost of living isn’t as high as you think

And there’s more to the equation…

Most, if not all, participants in the global quality / standard of living indexes are international residents in each surveyed country — people who are typically high earners and have sufficient income to live well. That skews the results somewhat.

For instance, the Quality of Living Ranking conducted annually by asset management firm Mercer, bases its findings on responses by expatriate employees — people who work in high-level, well-paid executive positions — rather than those in lower-level jobs, like in retail or restaurant sector.

 READ MORE: What is the average salary for (almost) every job in Switzerland?