Puerto Rico Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila today said election-related charges against him are "totally false" and "politically motivated."
In a five-minute televised speech, Acevedo Vila called on the Puerto Rican people "not to despair" and vowed he will continue to serve as governor with his cabinet.
"That is my job and I will fulfill it," he said.
Acevedo Vila was charged Thursday with 19 counts in a campaign finance probe, including conspiracy to violate U.S. federal campaign laws and giving false testimony to the FBI.
Calling the charges "lies and fabrications," Acevedo Vila said he will fight the charges brought against him by federal authorities. "That will be shown as the process progresses," he said.
Saying that "they want blood," Acevedo Vila rejected that he has illegally used public or campaign funds.
He did not take questions from reporters who were present at the speech delivered at La Fortaleza.
"I love Puerto Rico," he said, adding that he trusts that justice will prevail.
-- Clarisel Gonzalez