FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2012
GRACE GRANDE GRANTED BOND; STAND WITH GRACE COALITION VOWS TO ESCALATE FIGHT AGAINST TRANS-BORDER STALKING
LOS ANGELES: On October 19, 2012, Grace Grande, whom the Philippine government requested for extradition, surrendered herself in cooperation with federal authorities, demonstrating her innocence in the face of false theft charges. These trumped-up, minute theft charges have served as the sole basis for the extradition case against her. Typically, bail is not set for such cases; however, because the charges are so minor an exception was made. Grace was able to make bail through a few community members who volunteered to sign affidavits of surety. Grace was released less than an hour after the hearing.
AF3IRM, the Mariposa Center for Change, and members and supporters of the Stand with Grace Coalition packed the federal courtroom of Judge Fernando Olguin to maximum capacity with additional community supporters standing outside. Supporters came from as far as San Diego, Orange County, and the Inland Empire to fill the courtroom. Seventeen organizations were present for the hearing.
The Stand With Grace Coalition showed full support for Ms. Grande because in actuality, Ms. Grande’s one true “crime” has been her steadfast refusal to remain a mistress of Philippine Congressman Patrick Antonio. For exercising her right to end a relationship, Ms. Grande has been subjected to trans-border stalking and harassment, six-months imprisonment by ICE, a five-year legal battle over custody of her children, threats – both veiled and overt -- and the constant heartache of watching her sons, ages 14 and 13, traumatized over and over again.
Today's verdict proved to be one victory in a larger campaign that will be continuously waged. Grace's legal team will be gearing up for the trial, while the Stand with Grace Coalition will build more community support to end trans-border stalking, keep immigrant families together, and to uphold the right of women to terminate abusive relationships.
The Stand With Grace Coalition continues to grow as it has collected over 3,000 petition signatures, recruited over 30 organization members for the coalition, and held several educational events and protest actions to raise awareness about the issues surrounding Grace Grande’s case.