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Ex-Maguindanao solon Jimmy Matalam dies, 84

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Cotabato City—Former Maguindanao lawmaker Datu Guimid “Jimmy” Matalam died early morning on Tuesday, an immediate member of his family said. He was 84.

Sarah Matalam, daughter of the former congressman, said her father died peacefully at past midnight.

Of late, the older Matalam had been rarely seen in public because of lingering illness, his relatives have said.

As member of the first post-Martial law Congress, Matalam was best remembered as one of two principal sponsors of the consolidated bills on the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The other lawmaker-sponsor was Congressman Pablo Garcia Sr., who chaired the House Committee on Local Government, while Matalam was the chair of the Committee on Muslim Affairs.

The measure had been passed into law as RA 6734, the Philippines’ first autonomous region law, from Matalam’s draft and from another draft bill written by then Maguindanao First District Congressman Michael Mastura.

Matalam had been two-term Maguindanao Congressman of the Second District of Maguindanao (1987-1992; 2001-2004), Speaker of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Regional Legislative Assembly (ARMM-RLA) from 1993 to1996; ARMM Vice-Governor (1996-2001); ARMM Department of Agrarian Reform Regional Secretary (1992-1993), ARMM Department of the Interior and Local Government Regional Secretary (1996-2001).

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