MANILA (UPDATE) - ABS-CBN's head for radio news gathering Edwin Sevidal passed away on Thursday after contracting COVID-19. He was 49.
Sevidal, known on air as Radyo Patrol 37, started his quarter-century career with ABS-CBN in 1996 as a production assistant in radio DZMM.
He was promoted to researcher, executive producer and eventually became a field reporter before his stint as desk editor.
Sevidal was among the ABS-CBN reporters deployed to cover the wrath of Supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013 and the Marawi Siege in 2017.
As the head of ABS-CBN's Radyo Patrol, he pushed for the use of mobile journalism among radio reporters, which enabled them to deliver reports for both radio, television and online platforms without the need for bulky equipment and additional manpower.
"Sir Edwin Sevidal was not just our colleague, our mentor, the manager of Radyo Patrol reporters. He is our friend, our tatay (father), our confidant," said Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN's radio reporter in Malacañang.
"He knows each of us very well, our strengths, and our weaknesses. He pushes us to be better reporters every single day, because he believes in what we all can do," she said.
"He is our greatest supporter, our loudest cheerer."
After pioneering mobile video journalism (MoJo) in DZMM Teleradyo, Sevidal also conducted mobile journalism workshops for ABS-CBN News correspondents in the Europe and Middle East bureaus. In 2019, he set up the ABS-CBN News Asia-Pacific bureau, recruiting and training correspondents from all over the region.
ABS-CBN News chief Ging Reyes said Sevidal was an innovator and a friend to many.
"Edwin was a newsman’s newsman, and everyone’s friend," said Reyes.
"He rose from the ranks and eventually gave up being RP37 to serve as one of our key News officers. But he never lost his love for the field and was among our frontliners in the months-long coverage of the Marawi Siege. He also welcomed new challenges; he never thought twice when he accepted another assignment two years ago - to set up our Asia Pacific News Bureau from Manila. He succeeded in recruiting and training new correspondents to help our TFC reach its audience," Reyes said.
For his colleagues in ABS-CBN, Sevidal was the ideal co-worker.
"He was jolly, genuine, very easy to be around even in tough coverages," said news.abs-cbn.com editor Tarra Quismundo, who got to work with Sevidal in some field assignments since 2008.
"He was one of those who made the mood lighter in stakeouts or tense situations. It's unbelievable he's gone," she added.