PRESIDENTIAL alter ego Paquito Ochoa let the cat out of the bag when he said that “things cannot be changed overnight,” alluding to the declining popularity ratings (down to a measly 13 points) of President Benigno Aquino III.

“It takes a while or a little while” to fulfill the new administration’s political promises, acknowledged Ochoa who, as executive secretary, plays the pivotal role of Little President in our system of government.

Having said that, Ochoa needs to undergo a reality check.

It would take indeed “more than a little while” to put the government’s programs on course and that is to be expected considering the bureaucracy that is in place and very much well-entrenched.

What we see now is a quick-fix solution to crisis after crisis, fueling more missteps and miscues after the smoke clears.

Let’s start with the finger-pointing for the Luneta hostage snafu.

The President was near the scene of the incident, dining at a nearby restaurant, but was not calling the shots himself as he should have.

Instead, he left it all to a trusted ally to sort it out, and look what happened.

Heads did not roll as he vowed and shoved aside his justice secretary’s report and plea that high-ranking officials should be charged for bungling the negotiations.

In the end, it was a deputy Ombudsman who was inexplicably cashiered, while the President’s crisis team leaders walked away unscathed.

In a jaw-breaking jab to his legal braintrusts, the Supreme Court threw out as unconstitutional the administration’s very first executive order creating a truth commission to ferret out grand cases of graft and corruption in the time of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The end was noble but the means breached the law.

Arroyo and her officials could still be pinned down for crimes if evidence so warrants in the proper agencies and courts but without the bugles and drums for a superfluous truth panel.

In fact, the former president’s son and Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep. Mikey Arroyo and his wife are now on the dock for alleged tax evasion.

More cases involving past officials in the highest level are also in the work.

The trouble with President Noynoy was that he promised his people the moon, the stars, the universe, and so they expected him to deliver them from misery as quickly as possible.

Failing so, the Aquino’s intrepid crew is jolted back to earth.