NATIONAL– “There is no better way for us to mark this day,” said AF3IRM National Chair Jollene Levid, upon receiving the news that the Philippine government had officially rescinded its request for the extradition of Grace Grande, who had fled her status as a congressman’s mistress.
“We want to thank, first of all, Grace Grande and her sons, who all stood with unwavering fortitude, in the face of seven years of lies, harassment, threats, imprisonment and all the garbage misogynists are capable of. We salute you!”
AF3IRM learned a lot, said Ms. Levid, in the course of this campaign against trans-border stalking, concubinage and outright persecution. “Perseverance is key,” she added. “For that, we thank our allies who enabled us to stand firm, providing us with political, psychological and material support. We salute you!”
Grace Grande, with her sons, had left a life as a concubine of a Philippine congressman, a patriarch of a warlord family allied with very powerful politicians. She was then accused of theft by an employee of the congressman, her name and face even emblazoned the world over by Interpol. ICE was tipped off as to her whereabouts and she was imprisoned for six months. Then the congressman filed for custody of the children he had never acknowledged before. He lost in a California court and filed again in a Philippine court where he, of course, won.
Ms. Grande filed for political asylum in the face of such persecution and reached out to AF3IRM for assistance. AF3IRM then launched the Stand with Grace Campaign. On the final hearing for her asylum, prosecutors brought to the court the sudden request for extradition by the Philippine government. Undeterred, AF3IRM and Stand with Grace supporters continued the fight.
“There were attempts to intimidate us,” said Ms. Levid. “Acts of vandalism, of stalking, of cyber bullying… but they learned that AF3IRM sisters do not back down. And thanks to our allies, the lawyers and Grace herself, who inspired us with her courage, we won.”
Today being the death anniversary of the Mirabal Sisters, Las Mariposas, AF3IRM dedicates this victory to their memory and the worldwide call for the elimination of violence against women.
It is time to think the unthinkable and make the impossible, possible. Onward to women’s liberation and the liberation of humanity!