LAST VISIT. Former Rep. Guimid “Jimmy” Matalam (left) of Maguindanao’s second district is shown in this 2021 photo visiting the mayor of his hometown, Mayor Salik Mamasabulod, a relative. Matalam died Tuesday night (May 17, 2022) at the family's ancestral home in Pagalungan, Maguindanao. (Photo courtesy of Mayor Salik Mamasabulod)

COTABATO CITY – A Moro leader considered the brain behind the law that created the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has passed away due to old age, relatives said.

Former Congressman Datu Guimid “Jimmy” Matalam, who served as a House member from 1987 to 1992, breathed his last in his ancestral home in Pagalungan, Maguindanao, shortly before midnight Tuesday. He was 85 years old.

Sarah Matalam, a relative, said “Datu Jimmy” is set to be buried in his hometown Wednesday.

Matalam, then representing Maguindanao’s second district in the House of Representatives, was the principal author of Republic 6734, the Organic Act for the ARMM.  

ARMM is the forerunner of the now Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Aside from congressional representative, Matalam also served as ARMM regional vice governor, speaker of the ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly, the region’s lawmaking body and assemblyman representing Maguindanao.
 
Serving the government for more than 40 years, Matalam has two siblings who are also in politics: Pagalungan ex-Mayor Udtog “Datu Jun” Matalam Jr., and former Maguindanao Governor Norodin Matalam.

Their father, Datu Udtog Matalam Sr. was a guerrilla leader when Japanese forces invaded Mindanao during World War II.  Matalam Sr. served as the governor of the then undivided Cotabato province, which includes the provinces of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat. (PNA)