Bangkok's 'peaceful coup' will increase the pressure on Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to step down, her critics warned yesterday as many Filipinos rooted for the Thai generals. Mobile phone text messages flooded Philippine radio talk shows. One SMS praised the coup leaders, saying 'they are true heroes. Their loyalty is to the nation, not to the chain of command' - a dig at Philippine military chief Hermogenes Esperon's oft-repeated statement that 'we will remain loyal to the chain of command'. Another warned that just like the Thai armed forces, 'the [Philippine] military has already tasted how to be kingmakers. It would be difficult to remove that from their psyche'. Renato Reyes, of the left-wing Bayan group, said: 'We cannot fault the Arroyo administration if it feels it is in the same predicament as Thaksin Shinawatra.' Like Mr Thaksin, Mrs Arroyo has been accused of graft and cheating at the polls, and has refused to step down. A senior military officer said many officers were watching developments in Thailand and were curious to see how fast foreign governments would recognise a military-backed cabinet.