During his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), the President said the concept should not be used to protect the wrong people.
"Human rights must work to uplift human dignity. But human rights cannot be used as a shield or an excuse to destroy the country," he said.
Duterte also said he will continue the "relentless and sustained" war against criminality, especially illegal drugs.
"There will be no letup in this campaign. Double your efforts, triple them if need be. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, and the last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars. Or below the ground if they so wish," he said.
However, President Duterte said nothing was personal and that he was only looking out for the welfare of the country’s good citizens.
"I wish to assure everyone though that vindictiveness is not in my system of justice. Just to like you and I, all, equal treatment and equal protection are what I ask for our people."
Duterte has had numerous brushes with human rights advocates in the past for his public statements seemingly promoting extrajudicial killings.