Luke Espiritu Just Delivered a Reddit AMA Masterclass
Luke Espiritu, the labor organizer, lawyer, and activist, who's running for senator under Partido Lakas ng Masa stopped by for a Reddit AMA on Tuesday (March 8), answering any and all questions that users threw at him. The questions were mostly about his rebuttals at the recent debate hosted by SMNI television, but there were also unexpected nuggets of information like his favorite books and songs (he's kind of a Camila Cabello stan).
Most importantly, u/ToxRanoy, asked the following question: "Any advice to struggling law students? Ano feeling ng sobrang lakas ng sex appeal? Haha" Espiritu did respond, which pretty much confirms that he's read the thirst tweets about him.
He did answer actual important questions from Redditors.
On his advice to law students and having strong sex appeal:
1. Just imagine lawyers like [Harry] Roque and [Larry] Gadon passing the bar. Why wouldn’t you?
2. I've seen better days.
On why he wants to abolish manpower agencies:
Objective reason: Umiiral lang sila para mawala ang employer-employee relationship sa pamamagitan ng manggagawa at ng kumpanya. Namomorsyento sa sahod ng manggagawa pero walang ambag sa produksyon.
Personal reason: Gago sila. God, I hate middlemen.
On what it felt like to go head-to-head with Larry Gadon:
He deserved it for his misogyny and Islamophobia and sticking his middle finger at all of us.
On what it was like behind-the-scenes at the SMNI debate:
I had a nice conversation with Sir Albani. In fact, he was the only I really talked to. Others, I deliberately shunned because of my biological allergic reaction to scoundrels and hypocrites, and I cannot take chances.
On what it feels like to go viral after the SMNI debate:
Nabitin ako. Gusto ko pa sana magpakalalim sa debateng iyon, kasi ayokong i-dismiss na personahe lang ni Marcos ang inaatake natin. Iyon ang linya nila Gadon na ginamit ko lang ang debates para sirain si Marcos. Yung gusto ko talaga ay mapaliwanag nang mas mahaba kung bakit hindi maaaring pinapangalandakan bilang “Golden Age” ang Marcos regime.
To the second part of your question, yes and no. I knew that the conditions were there for millions of others to respond positively to exposing Gadon and Roque. I did not (expect) that I will be the one to do it in that moment.
On the worst labor exploitation case he's handled:
Soft Touch - Dito kami nakaranas ng pinakamatinding pandarahas ng kapulisan. Nakulong, nahataw, at nabombahan ng water cannon ang mga manggagawang matagal nang tinatratong kontraktwal. #BoycottIdealSpaghetti
On why he's running as senator:
The main purpose of my run for senator alongside the Partido Lakas ng Masa slate with Ka Leody as my president, Ka Walden as my Vice President, and environmental activists Roy Cabonegro and David D’Angelo as my co-senators is to popularize the struggle and problems of workers and the poor. Kailangan na natin ng tunay na alternatibo sa trapong pulitika na napakatagal na sumasakal sa manggagawa at masa.
Habang tumataas ang presyo ng bilihin, nagsta-stagnate ang wages ng manggagawa, sinusupil ang karapatan mag-organisa, at lumalala ang climate crisis ay mas yumayaman ang mga malalaking kapitalista at tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang political circus sa bansa natin, imbis na nagbibigay ng tunay na solusyon.
Not only do we need to put these issues to the forefront but also show that hindi natin kailangan bumuntot sa maduming pulitika ng mga trapo.
Manggagawa Naman. Kalikasan Muna.
On his favorite books:
For fiction, it’s Siddharta by Herman Hesse. Siddharta had to live in the world to find inner peace, and that is an arc that reflects my life.
For non-fiction, it is Fidel: A Critical Portrait by Tad Szulc. It fueled my romantic instincts to embrace a revolutionary life.
On his stance on same-sex marriage:
I am 100% supportive of same sex marriages. Pushing for civil unions is pandering to conservative elements in our society. It is a half-hearted measure that creates unnecessary complications. What, for example, will happen if there is a religious denomination that allows same sex marriage? Will that be prohibited because we’re only allowing civil unions? That’s silly.
As it stands, marriage can already be celebrated religiously (by a priest) or secularly (by a judge) Why create a false category?
On what's on his music playlist:
I have an eclectic taste in music. For classical, I like Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and Ennio Morricone’s The Mission Theme. For rock and alternative I love Just Like Heaven by The Cure and Chop Suey by System of a Down. For contemporary music I like Camila Cabello’s Never Be the Same and Roses by Chainsmokers. But the song that really gives me goosebumps is The Internationale, especially when I sing it with the workers.