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The Philippines’ leader said he is happy Jessica Sanchez is one of the singing contest’s top three finalists and “hopefully she really reaches the top.”

Jessica, 16, is from Chula Vista, Calif., and has Filipino and Latino heritage. She is being cheered by many in the Philippines and by the Filipino and Mexican communities in the U.S.

The “American Idol” finale airs next week.

• Compiled from Web and wire reports